Virginia Woolf's Literary Aesthetics: The Epistemological Aspect

Doctoral thesis Lithuanian OPEN
Bartkuvienė, Linara (2012)
  • Publisher: Institutional Repository of Vilnius University
  • Embargo end date: 2017-12-30
  • Subject: history of ideas ; epistemology ; doubt

The thesis focuses on the epistemological aspect of Virginia Woolf‘s literary aethetics. The research problem of the thesis is an attempt at the conceptualization of the nature of knowledge in Woolf‘s writing and Bertrand Russell‘s philosophy. Methodologically and theoretically, the semantic relationship between Woolf‘s aesthetics and Russell‘s epistemology is closely examined within the framework of the history of ideas. The thesis arrives at the conclusion that Woolf‘s understanding of reality is close to the concept of reality developed by Russell in his theory of knowledge. The analysis of the elements of Russell‘s idea of knowledge − critique of epistemological idealism, logical atomism, philosophy of language, description theory, ontological problems − in Woolf‘s prose showed a close semantic relationship between Woolf‘s modernist aesthetics and Russell‘s epistemology. The analysis of the semantically motivated relationship between Woolf‘s prose and Russell‘s theory of knowledge lends itself to the hypothesis that Woolf‘s concept of her epistemological aesthetics was not only typological but also a genetic phenomenon. The typology of the anthroplogical turn in literature is genetically defined by Russell‘s theory of knowledge. Russell‘s theory of knowledge reconsiders the Cartesian doubt. Doubt in Russell‘s philosophy and in Woolf‘s poetics became an epistemological condition, a mode of questioning and understanding reality.
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