Introduction: Philosophy and literary modernism-an old problem finally made new

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In this introductory chapter, we discuss some recent theoretical approaches to the relations between Western Philosophy and Literary Modernism, and at the same time, we get back to some classic contrasts drawn between the two creative enterprises in the foundational texts of each tradition, which make them seem irreconcilable. Recent rapprochements made by commentators on twentieth-century philosophy and the cultural breakthrough of Modernism in the last decade of the nineteenth-century have insisted on a disenchanted rupture with all kinds of metaphysical worldviews (now seen as myths), which had theretofore played a stabilizing role in human beings’ lives and in Western societies at large. Usually this demystifying gesture is associated with a concentration of theoretical attention on the role played by language itself. In terms of the development of philosophical methods in the twentieth-century, this has been especially associated with the so-called ‘linguistic analysis’. You could conceive of the linguistic turn as a new metaphysical framework. This framework would equally encompass the whole of reality in a single, unifying principle. In this book we mean to avoid this essentialist worldview by drawing on highly differentiated resources from human language itself, be it poetry, the novel, the theatre or the plastic arts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhilosophy in the Condition of Modernism
EditorsAna Falcato, Antonio Cardiello
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9783319770789
ISBN (Print)9783319770772
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2018


  • Recounting myths
  • Demystification
  • T.S. Eliot
  • Hans-Georg Gadamer
  • Stanley Cavell
  • Modernism and language


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