‘Philosophy and Literature’ with Lanier Anderson on Philosophy Talk presented by Ken Taylor and John Perry. Ken Taylor and John Perry of Stanford University are regular presenters of podcasts on Philosophy Talk which are also broadcast on Sunday mornings by the San Francisco Unified School District radio station KALW.
In this podcast from 9th August 2009, they take a very user friendly approach to discussing links between philosophy and literature. The podcast starts with the Monty Python sketch in which someone comments on Thomas Hardy writing a novel like a sporting event. Amongst a lot of informality and jokes, Taylor and Perry have a conversation with Anderson about philosophy as literature and literature as philosophy. The user friendly emphasis does break down the topic in to some clear points, which I find very helpful even after many years of thinking about philosophy and literature. The topics that come up are literature as mental simulation, literature as pretense, how we can have emotional reactions to pretense, imagining ourselves as characters, the psychology of morality including the psychology of evil, philosophical communication through genres like dialogue and aphorism, humans as narrating creatures, how philosophy now is less literary than a lot of the philosophical classics.