Literary intelligence : a virtue theoretical analysis with special reference to its educational implications

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Literary intelligence : a virtue theoretical analysis with special reference to its educational implications

Type: Book (monograph)
Title: Literary intelligence : a virtue theoretical analysis with special reference to its educational implications
Author: Peperstraten, Jan-Jaap van
Pages: 269
Publisher: Leiden University Press
Issue Date: 2010
Abstract: In this dissertation it is argued that the concept of “literary intelligence” as used and developed by Frank Raymond Leavis and other members of his Scrutiny circle is a viable theoretical and educational notion and is long due a reappraisal. Their thesis that reading quality texts intelligently assists our personal and moral development is taken up and subjected to philosophical analysis. It is also argued that a theory of intellectual virtue is best suited for such a reappraisal. Literary intelligence is then found to be best interpreted as a form of Aristotelian practical intelligence. This interpretation allows us to theorize the moral salience of literary experiences. This theorization is achieved through an in-depth analysis of relevant articles written by Leavis, Harding and Bantock, assorted writings on the relationship between life and art as envisaged by a number of thinkers, as well as a sustained analysis of the theory of intellectual virtue. In particular, recourse is taken to the theory of intellectual virtue as drafted by American philosopher Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski. Consequently, a number of educational implications of the above theories are identified and commented upon. Also, it is shown that the above-mentioned theoretical insights fit in well with the consistent findings of research into reading. Finally it is argued that if the capacity to read well is best approached as a moral trait, then reading education cannot be legitimately conceptualized as one ‘competence’ among others. On the contrary: reading education ought to form the moral kernel of the curriculum. A sustained and socially sanctioned emphasis on the fostering of reading and the creation of a culture of literacy will widely expand the social, cultural and moral horizons of children and adults alike.
ISBN: 9789087281052
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/33963
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