Front cover image for Poetic justice : the literary imagination and public life

Poetic justice : the literary imagination and public life

Public discourse has become increasingly vitriolic and punitive toward those who don't seem to fit America's "mainstream." Relying excessively on stereotypes and models of human behavior based on economic self-interest, we too often fail--in public policy-making, legislation, and judicial reasoning--to see one another as fully human. In Poetic Justice, one of our most prominent philosophers and public intellectuals explores how literature can contribute to a more just society. As readers of literature, Nussbaum argues, we may glimpse the interior experiences of other people. Above all, reading asks us to imagine the value of their lives. Through such works as Hard Times and Native Son, Nussbaum shows how novels and novel reading develop a fully humanistic, not pseudo-scientific, conception of public reasoning. She brilliantly illustrates how the literary imagination is not opposed to public rationality, but is an essential ingredient of just public discourse and a democratic society. --From dust jacket
Print Book, English, ©1995
Beacon Press, Boston, Mass., ©1995
xix, 143 pages ; 23 cm
9780807041086, 9780807041093, 0807041084, 0807041092
1. The literary imagination
2. Fancy
3. Rational emotions
4. Poets as judges