October 27-28: Conference: "Music as Art: Theory, Philosophy, and the Western Canon.”
Cosponsored by the Department of Music.
Monday, November 13, 5pm: a discussion with Roger Maioli about his new book, Empiricism and the Early Theory of the Novel.
Terrace Room, Margaret Jacks Hall.
Cosponsored by the English department and the Seminar on the Enlightenment and Revolution.
Can works of fiction communicate knowledge about the real world? Defenders of poetry from Aristotle to the Renaissance had long thought so; but the rise of British empiricism in the seventeenth century called their views into question. In Empiricism and the Early Theory of the Novel: Fielding to Austen, Roger Maioli reconstitutes the empiricist challenge to the novel, showing that philosophers from Francis Bacon to David Hume viewed fiction as a source not of knowledge, but of misconceptions about empirical reality. Such a challenge, Maioli argues, changed the debate about literature and knowledge in irreversible ways: as novelists from Henry Fielding to Jane Austen sought to rehabilitate fiction in the eyes of empiricism, they inaugurated a longstanding tradition in Western aesthetics, one that endeavors to defend literature from resilient forms of empirical skepticism.
Please download the introduction here.
January 27, 2:00pm: THEATRE TRIP!
Harold Pinter's "The Birthday Party," at ACT in San Francisco. Tickets going fast! Sign up here.