Can There be a Literary Philosophy of Time?

Gregory Currie

in The Arguments of Time

Published by British Academy

Published in print March 2006 | ISBN: 9780197263464
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734748 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Centenary Monographs

Can There be a Literary Philosophy of Time?

Show Summary Details


This chapter takes the discussion of the metaphysics of time in a different direction. It asks whether the treatment of time in fictional narratives can teach anything about the nature of time, or the concepts and experience of it. In particular, it asks whether it can teach lessons that people cannot get from the usual philosophical studies of time. To pursue this question, the discussion assesses two main lines of thought that suggest the answer ‘Yes’. First, it focuses on such claims as that one can learn about time, and even about the self. Second, it considers the idea of appealing to a narrative with an unusual temporal structure, and to the ability to engage imaginatively with the narrative's time, to produce an argument that more usual structures are not necessary to time.

Keywords: metaphysics; time; fictional narratives; philosophical studies; temporal structure

Chapter.  9690 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at British Academy »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or purchase to access all content.