Head and the Heart by Burton F. Porter
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Head and the Heart
By Burton F. Porter

The Head and the Heart

Philosophy in Literature

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Format: Hardback

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Head and the Heart by Burton F. Porter

Book Description

Part of the greatness of great literature consists in the profound, philosophic ideas the works contain. These ideas may not be unknown to philosophy but, when rendered in literary form, they gain an aesthetic force often lacking in the philosophic treatise with its careful train of reasoning. In this insightful study, Burton Porter explores the philosophic content of some outstanding literary works, analysing and evaluating the ideas that drive the narrative. Porter first examines the concept of free will and determinism in Melville's "Moby Dick", placing the quest for the white whale within the context of foreordination, hubris, prophecy, and defiance of divine power. Connections are also drawn to Euripides' "Medea" and Shakespeare's "King Lear" as well as the Old Testament. The good and the right are traced in Anouilh's "Antigone" and Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina", showing the philosophic antagonisms in the literature and in the conflicted minds of the authors. Voltaire' "Candide" and Dostoevsky's "The Brothers Karamazov" are then explored insofar as they express the problem of evil - the tension between human suffering on earth and belief in a benevolent, wise, almighty God. Finally, the nature of the self is investigated in Rilke's "The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge" and Kafka's "The Metamorphosis", focusing on identity and the mind-body problem. Porter makes philosophy come alive by showing its expression in art and revealing the depth of ideas that make literature compelling.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781591024118
ISBN-10: 1591024110
Format: Hardback
(215mm x 140mm x 16mm)
Pages: 1177
Imprint: Prometheus Books
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Publish Date: 2-May-2006
Country of Publication: United States

Books By Author Burton F. Porter

Deity and Morality by Burton F. Porter Deity and Morality, Hardback (April 2013)

Burton Porter describes the 'naturalistic fallacy', as attributed to Hume, that non-moral premises cannot logically entail a moral conclusion, and distinguishes it from the similarly named though subtly different fallacy identified by Moore in Principia Ethica by comparing and contrasting its presence in a range of ethical or moral systems.

Voice of Reason by Burton F. Porter Voice of Reason, Paperback (September 2001)

This introduction to critical thinking covers the areas of thought and language; systematic reasoning; and modes of proof. In addition to traditional topics, the book presents the different rules of evidence in fields such as law, science, literature, and history.

» View all books by Burton F. Porter


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Author Biography - Burton F. Porter

Burton Porter (Springfield, MA) is currently professor of philosophy at Western New England College and a visiting professor of philosophy at Mt. Holyoke College. He is the author or editor of numerous books including Philosophy Through Fiction and Film, The Voice of Reason, and Reasons For Living.

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