Reckoning with Imagination: Wittgenstein and the Aesthetics of Literary Experience

Reckoning with Imagination tries to recast basic Idealist claims about imagination and purposiveness in terms provided by Witt genstein’s showing the limits of what empiricist concerns for “truth values” in relation to the range of ways we deploy the resources of language. One can use how Witt genstein contrasts display to description in order to restore much of what Hegel att ributes to expression in the arts. And then one can clarify how expressions produce a distinctive kind of exemplifi cation that explains how texts take on worldliness and provide models for experience. These models invite readers to try out valuations by participating in how texts construct specifi c stances that grapple with freeing ourselves from conventional ways of seeing and of thinking. When we elaborate how text value we are in a position to develop a substantial theory of appreciation. And that theory allows us to claim that literature enters politics primarily by the ways in which appreciate resists resentment and the terrifying capacity of resentment to reduce agency to defensive roles and pleasure to the wary aggressiveness of the permanently aggrieved.

Charles F. Altieri
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