Hauptsächlicher Artikelinhalt

Wolfgang G. Müller
Rainer Thiel


Though it cannot reasonably be denied that there is a fundamental difference between the mode of rational-logical discourse in philosophy and the aesthetic mode of composition in literature, the two products of the human mind have a common origin in antiquity and have fruitfully interacted in the course of intellectual history. Indeed, philosophy and literature are siblings whose relation reveals infinite possibilities of mutual inspiration. This is the basic idea that informs the present volume, which looks at the interdependence between philosophy and literature from Greek and Latin authors over the millennia to modern philosophers like Derrida, Ricœur, and Gabriel. Some of the topics discussed are Aristotle’s concept of mimesis (imitation) and its tradition, Cicero’s use of dialogue, the logician Frege’s attempt to define poetic speech, the ethical dimension of literature, the literarization of philosophy in Schopenhauer, Hölderlin’s conversion of philosophy into literature, and Wallace Stevens’ lyrical philosophizing. The symbiosis of literature and philosophy is ubiquitous and especially conspicuous, of course, in authors like William Godwin, Albert Camus, and Jean-Paul Sartre, who are simultaneously philosophers and writers of fiction. Further examples of this symbiosis are, for instance, Schleiermacher’s vision of Plato as a philosophical artist in German Idealism; the relation between the modernist poet Francis Ponge and the philosopher Jacques Derrida, which is expressed in Derrida’s book title “Signéponge”; and the American poet Gary Snyder’s assimilation of Asian philosophy. Special emphasis is given to the respective forms of cognition (Erkenntnis) achieved in philosophy and literature and the different ways of handling the problems of reality and fiction – of truth and lying – in the two distinct kinds of discourse.


Müller, W.G. und Thiel, R. 2022. Vorbemerkungen. Internationale Zeitschrift für Kulturkomparatistik. 5 (2022), 5–15. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25353/ubtr-izfk-6408-1fe9.