Literary Theory After Davidson
Edited by Reed Way Dasenbrock
Publication date:15 April 1993
Length of book:332 pages
PublisherPenn State University Press
Donald Davidson is probably the most eminent living analytic philosopher, and his writings in philosophy of language and philosophy of action have shaped much of the recent work in both these fields. However, despite the obvious shared concerns of literary theory and these aspects of philosophy, up to this point literary theorists have not paid much attention to Davidson's ideas or have only known about them through the interpretations of other philosophers like Richard Rorty. Literary theorists have seen more relevance to their concerns in Continental philosophy and, among analytic philosophers, in the essentially anti-analytic work of J. L. Austin and Ludwig Wittgenstein than in the harder tradition of analytic philosophy—more concerned with logic and philosophy of science—represented by the work of Donald Davidson. Literary Theory after Davidson challenges both views, stressing the variety of ways in which Davidson's thought can contribute to the development of literary theory. Davidson himself has contributed a new essay to the collection that explores the interrelations between his theories of language and literature.