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Welcome to Philosophy and Literature




TEACHER:  Mary-Rose Pintado (


The Course examines the fundamental features of literature, the existential questions significant literature engages with, and literature’s relationship with philosophy.



As (discriminatory) reading is fundamental to human formation, the aim of this subject is threefold:

  • to explore literature as a chronicle of human attempts to discover self, deal with the big existential questions, and interpret reality in a meaningful way
  • to recognise the power of literature as a means for the communication of ideas. As a pre-eminent form of human expression, the history of significant literature is a history of culture and philosophy from its earliest forms.

  • to examine the impact on the reader of literature as a creative art, and appreciate its power to entertain, provide enjoyment, and enable the formation of one’s own literary judgment and tastes


  1. Philosophy and Literature
    • Reality and Fiction
    • Literature and Knowledge
  1. Fundamentals of the Theory of Literature
    • Literary Genres: Lyric, Narrative, Drama
    • Elements of the Narrative: Narrator, Characters, Space and Time
    • The Role of the Reader
    • Postmodern Literary Theory
  1. Themes in World Literature
    • Gods and God
    • The Meaning of Life and the Mystery of Evil
    • Freedom, Law and Conscience
    • Love and Death
    • Humanity and Subjectivity
    • Society

The program is also available here.  VIEW




Calvino, I., Why Read the Classics? trans. Martin McLaughlin, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, NY, 1991.

Carson, S (ed.), A Truth Universally Acknowledged: 33 Reasons Why We Can’t Stop Reading Jane Austen, Penguin, London, 2009.

Chatman, S., Story and Discourse: Narrative Structure in Fiction and Film, Cornell University Press, NY, 1978.

O’Donnell, K., Postmodernism, Lion, Oxford, 2003.