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Enactment or exploration: Two roles for philosophy in the novel of ideas.

Nordberg, D., 2023. Enactment or exploration: Two roles for philosophy in the novel of ideas. Philosophy and Literature, 47 (1), 108-127.

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Nordberg EnactmentOrExploration PHL AAM 2021.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.


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DOI: 10.1353/phl.2023.a899681


This article examines the often-denigrated concept of the novel of ideas through its inception, its critical decline, and relatively recent revival. Using a variant of the exploitation-exploration dilemma in psychology, it suggests that early usage referred to works that exploit philosophical principles – or better put, enact them – by setting philosophical positions in conflict. By contrast, use of the concept for other, and especially more recent works sees characters and plots as exploring philosophical stances. The shift corresponds with the greater attention paid to complexity and ambiguity that are hallmarks of continental philosophy and neopragmatism, and with it greater need to explore philosophical stances through fiction.

Item Type:Article
Group:Bournemouth University Business School
ID Code:36300
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:26 Nov 2021 11:53
Last Modified:13 Sep 2023 14:08


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