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What is a philosophical novel?

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    Does anyone know?

    Answers please

    cheers :cheers:
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    The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy is quite philosophical in my opinion, if you've ever actually read the book. Stupid, yes... however it gets quite deep in places!

    The title of this thread is a bit misleading - are you asking people whether they've read any books they consider to be philosophical or instead what people consider is required to make a book philosophical?!

    :rolleyes:
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    General plea: please don't mention Sophie's World anyone...
    Actual point: I quite liked the Solitaire Mystery (tis my secret shame). And there's this good russian one that 1984 was based on. Forgotten its damn name though.
    If the question was 'what do people consider is required to make a novel philosophical?': I'd say it was just a plot that raises questions about either assumptions we as a society have or writing about an idea that's considered by some to be the answer to a political/philosophical issue... or something like that

    EDIT: The russion novel I mentioned is called 'We'
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    Candide could be considered a philosophical novel.
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    (Original post by Jacques Derrida)
    Candide could be considered a philosophical novel.
    You reckon? Hmm, arguable. It's more a satire of certain types of philosophy I'd have said.
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    (Original post by ofholyname)
    Does anyone know?

    Answers please

    cheers :cheers:
    I'd imagine that its a novel what is philosophical :eek:
    (surprise, surprise).

    Via its plot and the actions/events/themes therin, it may prompt the reader to critically analyse the situation(s) in a thoughtful manner.
    It may also address questions widely regarded as 'philosophical' and endeavour to answer or come close to answering them.

    Id imagine its definately a clear 'novel' and distinct from a Socratic or Platonic dialogue for example such as The Republic or The Symposium.

    Iv always thought a lot of H G Wells' work is in a way philosophical (although it is mainly sociological) in that it addresses and QUESTIONS different issues of morality etc e.g. The Island of Doctor Moreau.
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    (Original post by Jacques Derrida)
    Candide could be considered a philosophical novel.
    Nausea, too.

    ZarathustraX
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    Difference there: Nausea reflects Sartre's philosophy, whereas Candide is about a particular philosophical standpoint. Broadly speakjing, a philosophical novel is one which consciously reflects or expounds a particular view of the world. It has to be conscious, because every view of the world and the way it works is a philosophy, so every novel reflects its author's philosophy. Exaples: Nineteen Eighty four, Leonard Mosley's Hopeful monsters books, Allen Lightman's Einstein's Dream, a lot of science fiction. Partly philosophical- Ulysses, The Death of Ivan Illich.
    Oddly, i don't think Sophie's Dream is actually a philosophical novel. It's aboutphilosophy, but the philosphy isn't reflected in the way it's put together.
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    (Original post by Weejimmie)
    Oddly, i don't think Sophie's Dream is actually a philosophical novel. It's aboutphilosophy, but the philosphy isn't reflected in the way it's put together.
    I agree with you there, it certainly isn't. (It's also appalling imho, but that's another matter...)

    (Original post by Weejimmie)
    Nausea reflects Sartre's philosophy...Broadly speakjing, a philosophical novel is one which consciously reflects or expounds a particular view of the world.
    So you agree that Nausea is a philosophical novel? :confused:

    ZarathustraX
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    Oddly, i don't think Sophie's Dream is actually a philosophical novel. It's aboutphilosophy, but the philosphy isn't reflected in the way it's put together.
    Its more a textbook of philosophy written in the style of a novel.

    I agree with you there, it certainly isn't. (It's also appalling imho, but that's another matter...)
    Its not that bad, I found it a nice and easy intro to philosophy, bearing in mind I read it when I was 15 and understood it !
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    (Original post by Zarathustra)

    So you agree that Nausea is a philosophical novel? :confused:

    ZarathustraX
    I'm not sure. How far is the reflection conscious there? You could argue further that a philosophical novel is one where the philosophy is noticeable rather than being absorbed into the novel's writing and style, so where somoene has really absorbed the influence of philosophical views their novels won't be philosophical novels.
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    Not that this follows on particularly from anything that anybody's said, aside from the OP, but most of Dostoevsky has some kind of philosophical subtext. Sometimes the characters will actually have a philosophical discussion dialogue (cf. "The Brothers Karamazov") or even monologue ("Notes from the Underground"), but also the content of the novel as a whole has a message.
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    (Original post by englishstudent)
    You reckon? Hmm, arguable. It's more a satire of certain types of philosophy I'd have said.
    Nah, I think it's a great philosophical novel actually!
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    (Original post by Socrates)
    Its more a textbook of philosophy written in the style of a novel.
    Yes there is a lot of history of philosophy woven in but I think it is a philosophical novel too. The actual storyline is philosophical in itself and would be even without the chunks of philosophy.
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    Bell Jar
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    (Original post by Adhsur)
    Yes there is a lot of history of philosophy woven in but I think it is a philosophical novel too. The actual storyline is philosophical in itself and would be even without the chunks of philosophy.
    Yes I agree with you there Rushda - I think the ending is definitely a little confusing and requires a fair bit of thinking, and philosophical analysis/thought.

    The Brothers Karamazov - definitely a philosophical novel, and one of the best works of literature IMO . I love, love, love that book!

    What about Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland? Possibly considered a philosophical novel - this might be a bit of a dubious novel to consider philosophical actually.

    Hate to bring this up, but Harry Potter *cough*. The ending of Prisoner of Azkaban is quite "philosophical" - time travel !? I did feel it was handled amateurishly however, but I don't think she was intending to bring much phil. in
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    (Original post by Adhsur)
    Nah, I think it's a great philosophical novel actually!
    In what way? Really it's a picaresque novel with strong elements of satire. It's not a self-consciously philosophical book. It's a story which is used as a vehicle to satirise follows of Leibniz. It is also a satire of vanity, folly and cruelty as well as established religion but not, in my opinion, a philosophical novel.
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    Sophie's World - it's completely brilliant and taught me everything I know!!!1111one

    MB
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    (Original post by musicbloke)
    Sophie's World - it's completely brilliant and taught me everything I know!!!1111one

    MB
    It's really sweet how much you and Ema have in common! :p:
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    (Original post by englishstudent)
    It's really sweet how much you and Ema have in common! :p:
    ^o) What are you talking about?

    I doubt you meant much by it, but I don't really appreciate irrelevant personal comments being made about me in d&d threads...

    ZarathustraX
Updated: September 28, 2005
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