Evolution and literary theory

@article{Carroll1995EvolutionAL,
  title={Evolution and literary theory},
  author={Joseph Carroll},
  journal={Human Nature},
  year={1995},
  volume={6},
  pages={119-134}
}
  • J. Carroll
  • Published 1 February 1994
  • Art
  • Human Nature
Presupposing that all knowledge is the study of a unitary order of nature, the author maintains that the study of literature should be included within the larger field of evolutionary theory. He outlines four elementary concepts in evolutionary theory, and he argues that these concepts should regulate our understanding of literature. On the basis of these concepts, he repudiates the antirealist and irrationalist views that, under the aegis of “poststructuralism,” have dominated academic… 

Darwinism in Literature

  • E. Jonsson
  • Art, Psychology
    The Early Evolutionary Imagination
  • 2021
This book’s argument about the clash between Darwinism and human psychology assigns a special place to the arts. Literary authors not only engaged with the theoretical ideas of Darwin, Huxley,

Literature, subjectivity and ‘human nature’: Evolution in literary studies

In the light of a recent surge of interest in biological approaches to literature, the essay discusses a Darwinian approach and its implications for literary criticism. To borrow from Rose’s

Making a science of literary criticism.

Why We Need a Journal with the Title Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture

The greatest enterprise of the mind has always been and always will be the attempted linkage of the sciences and humanities. The ongoing fragmentation of knowledge and resulting chaos in philosophy

The Context of Humanism

In a critical theory milieu that claims to be "after theory" or "post-theory," an often unchallenged assumption is that poststructuralism destroyed the possibility of reading texts in contexts. New

Against Materialism in Literary Theory

‘Materialism’ has been a shibboleth in cultural analysis for three hundred years. If we discard the word itself and concentrate instead on its various, shifting significances, it has been a major

Reflections on Darwin and Darwinizing

  • G. Levine
  • Art, Psychology
    Victorian studies
  • 2009
This essay examines current trends in Darwinian criticism, contrasting Literary Darwinism—which seeks in literature the "human nature" being defined by evolutionary psychology—with other models of Darwinist criticism provided by historians of science and literary scholars, models that bring together a sense of historical context with original attention to form and language.

Literary Studies, Universals, and the Sciences of the Mind

Two recent books by Patrick Colm Hogan deserve attention for all they get right and, to a lesser but important extent, for where they go wrong. Hogan is among the most accomplished members of an

The Origin of Texts: "The Art of Fiction" as Evolutionary Manifesto

This essay positions James's "Art of Fiction" essay in the context of the Darwinian-inspired discourse that saturated literary culture in the decades following the Civil War. Drawing on the roots of

Three Scenarios for Literary Darwinism

Thirty years ago, the idea of creating a specifically evolutionary theory of literature would scarcely have seemed imaginable and would certainly not have seemed within the range of practical
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 52 REFERENCES

Natural Classicism: Essays on Literature and Science

This book presents Turner's exploration of - and attempt to integrate - principles of literature, art, music, biology, psychology, anthropology, linguistics and aesthetics. It is Turner's contention

Not in Our Genes. Biology, Ideology and Human Nature. Harmondsworth (Penguin) 1984.

PrtJcis. Not In Our Genes is an unabashedly polemical work. At the beginning, the authors explicitly state their opposition to "the oppressive forms in which [biological] determinist ideology

The Strategic Role of the Emotions

Rational choice theorists have often criticized the modern sociologist's tendency to view people as mere pawns of social forces. For their part, many sociologists regard rational choice theories as

What Is Art For

Every human society displays some form of behavior that can be called "art," and in most societies other than our own the arts play an integral part in social life. Those who wish to understand art

The Concept of Becoming in Marius the Epicurean

N a note to the third edition of The Renaissance (1888) Walter Pater stated that he was restoring the "Conclusion," suppressed in the second edition because "it might possibly mislead some... young

The archaeology of knowledge ; and, The discourse on language

Now welcome, the most inspiring book today from a very professional writer in the world, archaeology of knowledge and the discourse on language. This is the book that many people in the world waiting

The Biology of Moral Systems Richard D. Alexander New York: Aldine De Gruyter, 1987

This volume attempts to remedy a situation in which "those who have tried to analyze morality have failed to treat the human traits that underlie moral behavior as outcomes of evolution" (p. xiv).

The biology of moral systems

The author argues that the ultimate interests of humans are reproductive, and that the concept of morality has arisen within groups because of its contribution to unity in the context, ultimately, of success in intergroup competition.

The Lucid Veil: Poetic Truth in the Victorian Age

The Lucid Veil is conceived as a sequel to The Mirror and the Lamp by M.H. Abrams. It gives a comprehensive account of the philosophic background of Victorian poetics. It is the first study to
...