Chapter

Learning From Literature

Frank Palmer

in Literature and Moral Understanding

Published in print September 1992 | ISBN: 9780198242321
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680441 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198242321.003.0008
Learning From Literature

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When asked what is learned in literature, the most often given answer is that it is dependent upon what is read, by whom, and in what spirit. However, the point in question in this chapter focuses on two aspects: what literature can contribute to education and what literature can contribute to moral education. In exploring these two points, there is a risk of conflating two different things: the importance or value of literature and its educative power and the independent value or importance it has regardless of its educative function. While the distinction between the educational value and moral education value is not totally separate and there are indeed some relations in some way, certainly literature should not be considered as mere device for moral instruction or a fuel for the cause.

Keywords: spirit; education; moral education; literature; moral instruction; cognitivist theory; moral understanding; value; morality; language

Chapter.  27732 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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