Download Ethics and Narrative in the English Novel, 1880-1914 by Jil Larson PDF

By Jil Larson

Drawing on interdisciplinary paintings within the box of ethics via a various variety of thinkers, together with Martha Nussbaum, Richard Rorty, Emmanuel Levinas and Paul Ricoeur, Jil Larson bargains new readings of late-Victorian and turn-of-the-century British fiction. concentrating on novels by way of Thomas Hardy, Sarah Grand, Olive Schreiner, Oscar Wilde, Henry James, and Joseph Conrad, Larson explores the conjunction of ethics and fin-de-si?cle background and tradition via a attention of what narratives from this era let us know approximately emotion, cause, and gender, aestheticism, and such speech acts as promising and mendacity.

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Example text

In her study of epistemic responsibility, Lorraine Code describes intellectual honesty in terms I ®nd relevant not only to Gosse's stance but also to Pater's concept of the self in ¯ux, Hardy's ``series of seemings,'' William James's pragmatism, Conrad's skepticism, and the resistance to Victorian gender ideology among the New Woman writers: Intellectual virtue is, above all, a matter of orientation toward the world, toward one's knowledge-seeking self, and toward other such selves as part of 34 Ethics and Narrative in the English Novel, 1880±1914 the world .

Still, narrative efforts to tell new stories, to experiment, to slip from the hold of dominant cultural assumptions ± even if only temporarily and imperfectly ± enabled these ®n-de-sieÁcle writers the chance to cultivate wishes and play for time, to ¯irt with possibilities.

Many liberal political economists agreed with Owen, or at least with his initial premise: These thinkers essentially rede®ned the concept of freedom by applying it to action, not to the will, and by contrasting it to external constraint, not to internal necessity. They argued that the will was the product of the convergence of various unwilled psychic entities, which were the results of one's experiences, and was therefore determined, not free. ' Liberty, then, was freedom from external constraints and was entirely reconcilable with strict determinism.

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