PHIL 7006 Philosophy and Literature

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102616

Coordinator Dennis Schmidt Opens in new window

Description The relationship between philosophy and literature is as old as philosophy itself. In fact, philosophy begins and defines itself in Ancient Greece by setting itself apart from literature - specifically, epic and tragic writings - and claiming for itself a more original role in the effort to understand what is true, what matters, and how one should be with others. From Ancient Greece, through Hellenism and the Roman world, and into the Medieval and Modern periods there was an enduring concern in philosophical traditions with literature, literary themes, and questions of style. However, at the end of the Modern period the concern with literature became so pronounced that philosophers began to write literary texts and to experiment with new styles of expression. Beginning with Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, and moving up to Sartre and Camus, this question of the relation of philosophy and literature has become a central concern of many contemporary philosophical traditions. This subject will be devoted to exploring both the history of this relation between philosophy and literature, as well as looking more carefully at various moments in that history.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline Philosophy

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject


Students must be enrolled in a postgraduate program.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Identify the major issues and approaches to literature in the history of philosophy
  2. Analyse primary texts carefully both in terms of conceptual argumentation and literary form
  3. Learn hermeneutic skills of interpretation
  4. Develop skills to identify the relation and differences between philosophy and literature

Subject Content

Unit content will address the following themes in the history of the relation between philosophy and literature:
Theories of literature
The idea of philosophy
Truth and language
Text and Interpretation


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Portfolio - 4 responses to questions 2000 words in total (500 words each) 35 N Individual
Essay - 1 research essay 4,000 words 65 N Individual

Teaching Periods

Autumn (2024)



Subject Contact Dennis Schmidt Opens in new window

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