Philosophical Studies

, Volume 135, Issue 1, pp 27–40 | Cite as

Aesthetics and literature: a problematic relation?

  • Peter Lamarque


The paper argues that there is a proper place for literature within aesthetics but that care must be taken in identifying just what the relation is. In characterising aesthetic pleasure associated with literature it is all too easy to fall into reductive accounts, for example, of literature as merely “fine writing”. Belleslettrist or formalistic accounts of literature are rejected, as are two other kinds of reduction, to pure meaning properties and to a kind of narrative realism. The idea is developed that literature—both poetry and prose fiction—invites its own distinctive kind of aesthetic appreciation which far from being at odds with critical practice, in fact chimes well with it.


Literature Aesthetics Appreciation Poetry Narrative 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of YorkHeslington, YorkUK

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