In this ground-breaking study on the nature of philosophy, Jan Zwicky demonstrates how much of potential philosophical significance is lost if our notion of meaningful language is constrained by narrow concepts of analytic rigour. Her aim is not to dismiss the role of analysis in philosophy; rather she strives to augment its resources and thereby give to philosophy a voice with greater range and integrity.
Two parallel texts, on facing pages, run through the book. The primary one is Zwicky’s, which begins with a critique of existing criteria for defining a work as philosophy, and then develops the notion of lyric in its relation to two other key terms: technology and domesticity. She finishes with an exploration of meaning, form, and content in lyric contexts. The parallel text consists of quotations from other authors. It serves as commentary on, illustration of, and reaction to, the main text; as a way of acknowledging intellectual debts; and as a way of providing an historical context for some of the main text’s claims.
Highly original in its thought and presentation, Zwicky’s discussion makes an exciting contribution to contemporary philosophy, forging new connections and expanding old boundaries.
About the author
Jan Zwicky is an accomplished poet, philosopher and musician whose intense and vivid lyricism imbues her poetry with music and passion. Born in Calgary, Alberta, Zwicky studied at the University of Calgary and the University of Toronto before undertaking an academic career teaching philosophy at a number of North American institutions. She is also a professional musician, with an active interest in baroque performance technique. Zwicky is a prolific essayist, as well as the author of a dozen books. Her works have won her the Governor General's Award (Songs For Relinquishing the Earth, 1998) and the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize (Robinson's Crossing, 2004) as well as many other accolades and shortlist nominations. Zwicky lives on Quadra Island, British Columbia.
Other titles by Jan Zwicky
The Collected Poetry of Carol Shields
The Experience of Meaning
Learning to Die
Wisdom in the Age of Climate Crisis
The Long Walk
The Poetry of Jan Zwicky
Essays in Philosophy
Wisdom & Metaphor
Selections from the Rime Spirituali with Photographs of Josep Maria Subirachs? Passion Façade