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Logical Fictions in Medieval Literature and Philosophy

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Part of Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature

  • Date Published: October 2014
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9781316191392

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About the Authors
  • In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, new ways of storytelling and inventing fictions appeared in the French-speaking areas of Europe. This new art still influences our global culture of fiction. Virginie Greene explores the relationship between fiction and the development of neo-Aristotelian logic during this period through a close examination of seminal literary and philosophical texts by major medieval authors, such as Anselm of Canterbury, Abélard, and Chrétien de Troyes. This study of Old French logical fictions encourages a broader theoretical reflection about fiction as a universal human trait and a defining element of the history of Western philosophy and literature. Additional close readings of classical Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle, and modern analytic philosophy including the work of Bertrand Russell and Rudolf Carnap, demonstrate peculiar traits of Western rationalism and expose its ambivalent relationship to fiction.

    • Proposes an original way to look at the relation between philosophy and fictional literature in the Middle Ages
    • Provides context by linking back to the Greek tradition and forward to the twenty-first century
    • Offers accessible discussions about logical fiction and philosophy through language and general modes of reasoning
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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2014
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9781316191392
    • contains: 2 tables
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    Part I. Logical Fables:
    1. Abélard's donkey: the nonexistent particular
    2. The literate animal: naming and reference
    3. The fox and the unicorn: naming and existence
    Part II. Figures of Contradiction:
    4. The opponent
    5. The fool who says no to God
    6. The man who says no to reason
    Part III. Fathers, Sons, and Friends:
    7. Aristotle or the founding son
    8. Abélard or the fatherless son
    9. The dialectics of friendship
    Conclusion
    Bibliography.

  • Author

    Virginie Greene, Harvard University, Massachusetts
    Virginie Greene is Professor of French in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University, Massachusetts. She is author of Cent vues de John Harvard (2011), co-author of Thinking Through Chrétien de Troyes (2011), translator of Le débat sur le Roman de la Rose (2006), and editor of The Medieval Author in French Medieval Literature (2006).

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