Fiction Philosophy books

Reference request - Philosophical fiction
The Philosophical Roots of Science Fiction

There is fiction that is overtly philosophical - for example you mentioned Sophie's World where the narrative structure stages a tutor & student relationship.

Borges uses more subtle literary devices to explore philosophical ideas. His prose is intricate, ornate & scholarly - for example The Garden of Forking Paths or The Library of Babel which explores the idea of the infinite & meaning in many subtle ways.

Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being starts with a riff on the eternal return of Nietzsche's.

Robinson Crusoe is a mixture of romanticism and the valorisation of reason. It could also be read as the struggle of self-mastery or ijtihad which connects it to a possible Islamic source Ḥayy ibn Yaqẓān (Philosophus Autodictatus). Its also possible to read identify him with the biblical God of Genesis but in the form of the new testament where God is identified with the Logos (reason). In the Post-Colonial context this Gods provenance is reasserted and explicated in the form of History and/or Moral Propaganda (the White European Mans Melancholy Mission and Burden to Civilise Earth). One is forced to ask what is the meaning of civilisation - a question anthropology is situated to ask but perhaps not answer.

Ray Bradbury writes what could be termed Mythic Science Fiction. His themes are religion, modernity & the unconscious. His use of language is reminiscent of the Irish poet Yeats who brought Irish mythology into English Poetry. Bradbury does the same with the mythos of small-town america. Olaf Stapledon rehearses the evolution of the Hegels world-spirit in his Star Maker. Huxley's Brave New World critiques the social & political formation of consumerism & Orwell's 1984 savagely tears into communism. Both visions are seen as total political systems. It's possible to view both as investigations of power - in one manifested by a puritan state & the other by a hedonistic market. The first transcendent (because it is over the mass) and the second immanent (because it is within).

Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass are rife with language & logic games. (It also has a tradition of quite beautiful illustrations - perhaps to humour Alice who was quite dismissive of books without conversations or pictures).

The short story Axototl by the Argentinian writer displaces the Sartrean phenomenological look between man & man to a teenager and an axototl (larval form of a salamander). The poetry of Sylvia Plath although termed popularly confessional is essentially Freudian.

Although there isn't much fiction that is overtly philosophical - in the sense of being written by a philosopher or starring one and/or signifying its philosophical themes explicitly; once one begins to look at fiction with a philosophical perspective then one begins to discern philosophical attitudes within the text. This is one of the themes of Literary Criticism, though of course not the only one.

Source: philosophy.stackexchange.com


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Novels and Fiction

2010-07-14 18:40:28 by AdamWeissman

I became interested in philosophy after I read Fountainhead by Ayn Rand -- after that I started reading other novels with a philosophical bent and then the books that influenced the authors...
In my opinion, fiction is a good way to "dive in" because you see the semi-practical interpretation of philosophy and/or politics... it also makes it a lot more accessible. In a sense, I feel that fiction serves as a lens that clarifies philosophy even better than the author-of-said-philosophy did in their manifesto.
Using Ayn Rand as an example, I think her novels serve her philosophy much better than most of her philosophical essays

The Torah is the first five books of the Bible.

2010-09-19 21:18:41 by The_Amazing_Rants

The only difference is Torah has undergone fewer translations and no editing by King James.
The Koran, if you check it out, is obviously partially copied from the Bible. It's the Islamic effort to produce a "better Bible." It starts off almost exactly the same as Genesis.
The Book of Mormon is written in the same style as the Bible. It's another effort to produce a "better Bible." Except it has some weird deviations, like claiming Jesus came to America on a canoe in 600 AD or something.
All these books pretend to be the authoritative truth, but they're actually fiction combined with some valid philosophy and perhaps some accurate history

Are you looking for fiction or nonfiction??

2005-12-01 14:39:35 by lucendra33

Fiction I'd recommend include (but are not limited to):
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith
-immensely beautiful language, powerful images, simple truths set in unforgettable context
Watership Down, by Richard Adams
-new perspectives on friendship, loyalty, the nature of community and peace and hatred...through the eyes of rabbits :)
The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
-a feast of delicious language and powerful characters
The Thorn Birds, by Colleen McCollough
-devastatingly beautiful love story, lovely descriptions of the countryside, insightful observations into human nature and the extremes to which we push ourselves
White Fang, by Jack London
-language like I've never encountered anywhere else, deep and precise explorations into the...

What a lot of weirdness

2006-03-30 10:59:50 by bumdharma

What a strange thread, seems to be weaving in and out of reality a bit (please no discourse on reality!), comic books, like all stories, mirror certain templates of human experience, which is what makes a story of any nature enjoyable - it is recognisable on a basic level, it is also a fact that much genre art (sf, horror, fantasy) is rife with suggestions of older philosophies and beliefs.
For the record there is no such thing as the Illuminati - it was invented by Robert A Wilson as fiction, and he will tell you so.
The problem with philosophies enabling (small) groups of people to act in a violent or self-promoting way is that, as with most humans, they misread the original ideas or they all too easily lose sight of the full picture and fall back into thinking they are a...


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