Dialectic and Narrative

Edited by Thomas R. Flynn & Dalia Judovitz

Subjects: Continental Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Contemporary Studies in Philosophy and Literature
Paperback : 9780791414569, 382 pages, July 1993
Hardcover : 9780791414552, 382 pages, July 1993

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents



I. Philosophy and Literature: Crossing Borders

1. The Philosophy of Genre and the Genre of Philosophy
Louis Mackey

2. Helen and the Rape of Narrative: The Politics of Dissuasion
James I. Porter

II. The Poetic and the Political: Martin Heidegger

3. Two Faces of Heidegger
Graeme Nicholson

4. Repositioning Heidegger
Herman Rapaport

5. Stevens, Heidegger, and the Dialectics of Abstraction and Empathy in Poetic Language
Matthias Konzett

6. Acoustics: Heidegger and Nietzsche on Words and Music
Dennis J. Schmidt

III. Contesting Modernities

7. Modernity and Postmodernity
Fred Dallmayr

8. Secularization and the Disenchantment of the World
A. J. Cascardi

9. Modernity and the Misrepresentation of Representation
Stephen David Ross

10. Narrative, Dialectic, and Irony in Jameson and White
Candace D. Lang

IV. Legitimacy and Truth 161

11. Reflections on the Anthropocentric Limits of Scientific Realism: Blumenberg on Myth, Reason, and the Legitimacy of the Modern Age
David Ingram

12. Blumenberg's Third Way: Between Habermas and Gadamer
Robert M. Wallace

13. History, Art, and Truth: Wellmer's Critique of Adorno
Lambert Zuidervaart

V. Narrative Fictions: Theaters of Danger

14. Tragic Fiction of Identity and the Narrative Self
Dana Rudelic

15. Ethical Ellipsis in Narrative
Carol L. Bernstein

16. Dialectics of Experience: Brecht and the Theater of Danger
David Halliburton

VI. Beyond Dialectics: At the Limits of Formalization

17. At the Limits of Formalization
Joseph Arsenault and Tony Brinkley

18. On Fate: Psychoanalysis and the Desire to Know
Charles Shepherdson


Notes on Contributors

Notes on Editors



Dialectic and narrative reflect the respective inclinations of philosophy and literature as disciplines that fix one another in a Sartrean gaze, admixing envy with suspicion. Ever since Plato and Aristotle distinguished scientific knowledge (episteme) from opinion (doxa) and valued demonstration through formal final causes over emplotment (mythos), the palm has been awarded to dialectic as the proper instrument of rational discourse, the arbiter of coherence, consistency, and ultimately of truth.

The matter becomes more complicated when we recognize the various uses of the term "dialectic" in the tradition, some of which complement and even overlap the narrative domain. By confronting these concepts with one another, either de facto or ex professo, the following essays not only raise anew the ancient questions of the identities of philosophy and literature, but do so in the context of recent "postmodern" challenges to their relative autonomy.

Thomas R. Flynn is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor and former Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Emory University. He is the author of Sartre and Marxist Existentialism: The Test Case of Collective Responsibility. Dalia Judovitz is Associate Professor in the French and Italian Department at Emory University. She is the author of Subjectivity and Representation in Descartes: The Origins of Modernity.