Is a poem about nature beautiful because of its form, or is it beautiful because it reminds us of the beauty inherent in nature? Philosophers tend to equate aesthetic beauty with the form of a work of art and our 'interests' get in the way of appreciating the form. However if this is the case why is there not more beautiful poems about rubbish dumps and oil spills.
To which philosopher it may concern,
I recently been perplexed by the following logical puzzle (or what seems to be, anyway):
Working at a used bookstore, I and the rest of the staff are constantly asked about where to find books. One of my co-workers had the following exchange with a customer and couldn't make anything of it:
Customer: "I am looking for a particular book."
Co-worker: "Well is it fiction or non-fiction?"
So far, this is what I've come up with:
(1) The customer is looking for a book that is neither fiction nor non-fiction, which would mean that it can't be both fiction and non fiction (which is quite common, e.g., historical fiction).
(2) If non-fiction is the opposite of fiction (and not considered as a separate entity), then was the customer contradicting himself and as a result saying absolutely nothing?
(3) If fiction is defined as something that isn't true, and non-fiction defined as something that IS true, then the...
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It seems like a lot of authors of literature have studied philosophy, and mention philosophers in their novels, and use philosophical ideas in their novels. It's almost as if they thought the knowledge of a lot of philosophy was a pre-requisite to writing a good, interesting novel. On the other hand, I can hardly think of examples of the other way around -- famous philosophers having studied lots of literature and talking about it to inform their philosophy. Do you agree that this is the case, and if so, why might it be? Is literature, which some might say contextualizes philosophy by placing it in the context of a world or a character's life, an outgrowth of philosophy? Is it taking philosophy to its logical conclusion, or to its next step?
When we read stories in a book or watch popular TV shows do the characters, not actors, actually come to life? Do they actually believe they are real, or are they in sense real? If someone was to create a sitcom, say Friends, would the character Russ actually live the life of Russ and walk around in the created "universe" of Friends? How don't I know that my life only exists in and was created by the mind of another?
I've often pondered this thought since I was a kid. I once watched a show (the title is unfamiliar) where the "real life" characters jumped into a comic book and interacted with the characters in the comic. It was as if the comic had created a seperate "universe".
As you can tell I'm not as educated as you philosophers, but I am still young yet. It's also probably quite apparent that I've never had any philosophical education either. My whole life I've been asking questions and have only recenty started to gain answers. Any answers or speculations you offer would be...
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