Title

Philosophical perspectives on literary value

Document Type

Book chapter

Source Publication

The quality of literature : linguistic studies in literary evaluation

Publication Date

1-1-2008

First Page

209

Last Page

221

Publisher

John Benjamins Publishing Company

Abstract

Meta-axiological distinctions introduced here introduced here include cognitivism and non-cognitivism on the status of evaluative discourse, as well as revisionary and non-revisionary positions. I argue that anti-realist and error-theoretical views of evaluative claims tend to be revisionary in ways that conflict with the realist orientation of much evaluative discourse, yet I contend that this does not provide a decisive reason in favor of cognitivism. While categorical aesthetic imperatives are hard to justify, some of these hypothetical imperatives have important implications in arguments over literary value. Dispositional accounts of value and 'ideal judge' conditions are also canvassed. In what follows I shall take up some central issues in meta-axiology, the branch of philosophy that engages in second-order reflection over values and evaluative discourse (for background, Darwell et al. 1993; Sinnott-Armstrong & Timmons 1996). My highly selective survey will be conducted with an eye to the implications of key philosophical strategies for questions pertaining to the topic of literary value. I propose no systematic theory of the latter, but do schematically indicate what I take to be some cogent basic assumptions and lines of future enquiry.

DOI

10.1075/lal.4.15liv

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2008 John Benjamins Publishing Company

Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Additional Information

ISBN of the source publication: 9789027233363

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Livingston, P. (2008). Philosophical perspectives on literary value. In W. van Peer (Ed.), The quality of literature: Linguistic studies in literary evaluation (pp. 209-221). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. doi: 10.1075/lal.4.15liv