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Other titles in the New Directions in Aesthetics series:
New Directions in Aesthetics #9: Mirrors to One Another: Emotion and Value in Jane Austen and David Humeby E. M. Dadlez
Synopses & Reviews
With their timeless observations of human nature, the novels of Jane Austen continue to resonate with modern readers. Austen's accessibility to diverse audiences in divergent periods is due at least in part to her moral perspicacity. In this thought-provoking study, E.M. Dadlez argues that perspectives on value and ethical reasoning expressed in Austen's work converge with views concerning human nature and morality put forward by David Hume. Dadlez maintains that Austen's novels provide us both with thought experiments and outright illustrations that support or demonstrate particular points which Hume himself made about moral reasoning, and about aesthetic and epistemic norms. If so, we can claim for Hume’s ethics, and for some of his philosophy of mind and epistemology and aesthetics as well, the same universality and breadth of accessibility that is ascribed to Austen. And while Austen can sometimes help us to understand and to expand upon Hume, it is also the case that Hume can help us to understand and to expand upon Austen, by making salient features of her texts that are too often neglected.
A compelling exploration of the convergence of Jane Austen’s literary themes and characters with David Hume’s views on morality and human nature.
About the Author
E.M. Dadlez is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Central Oklahoma. She has published in the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, the British Journal of Aesthetics, Philosophy and Literature, and Hume Studies. She is also the author of What's Hecuba to Him? Fictional Events and Actual Emotions (1997).
Table of Contents
1. How Literature Can Be a Thought Experiment: Alternatives to and Elaborations of Original Accounts.
2. Literary Form and Philosophical Content.
3. Kantian and Artistotelian Accounts of Austen.
4. Hume and Austen on Pleasure, Sentiment, and Virtue.
5. Hume and Austen on Sympathy.
6. Hume's General Point of View and the Novels of Jane Austen.
7. The Useful and the Good in Hume and Austen.
8. Aesthetics and Humean Aesthetic Norms in the Novels of Jane Austen.
9. Hume and Austen on Good People and Good Reasoning.
10. ‘Lovers,' ‘Friends,' and other Endearing Appellations.
11. Hume and Austen on Pride.
12. Hume and Austen on Jealousy, Envy, Malice and the Principle of Comparison.
13. Indolence and Industry in Hume and Austen.
14. What Hume’s Philosophy Contributes to Our Understanding of Austen’s Fiction; What Austen’s Fiction Contributes to Our Understanding of Hume’s Philosophy
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