[KB] Regarding John McKenzie's question about resistance to Burke

brud0025@umn.edu brud0025 at umn.edu
Thu Dec 6 15:15:55 EST 2007

Response to R. Wess. 

I'd like to make an observation about the resistance to Burke's apparent 
change in emphasis from literary criticism to abstruse philosophy:

If Burke collapses the distinction between life and literature, and 
literature and philosophy, and therefore life and philosophy, turning an 
Aristotelian syllogism outside-in so to speak, that doesn’t mean that life, 
literature and philosophy no longer exist. But resistance to this procedure 
in Burke does indicate that people are uncomfortable with the griffins and 
sphinxes and gargoyles flapping around, and, indeed, usurping that “pride 
of place” formerly occupied by the falcons of philosophy and the hard and 
soft sciences. I’m thinking of “literature as equipment for living” 
expressed in PLF, and “living a philosophy rather than having a philosophy” 
expressed in P&C.


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