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Scepticism at sea: Herman Melville and philosophical doubt

Abstract:

This thesis explores Herman Melville’s relationship to sceptical philosophy. By reading Melville’s fictions of the 1840s and 1850s alongside the writings of Descartes, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant, I seek to show that they manifest by turns expression, rebuttal, and mitigated acceptance of philosophical doubt.

Melville was an attentive reader of philosophical texts, and he refers specifically to concepts such as Berkeleyan immaterialism and the Kantian “noumenon”. But Melville does not ...

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Institution:
University of Oxford
Division:
HUMS
Department:
English Faculty
Oxford college:
New College
Role:
Author
More by this author
Division:
HUMS
Department:
English Faculty
Role:
Author

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Division:
HUMS
Department:
English Faculty
Role:
Supervisor
Publication date:
2013
Type of award:
DPhil
Level of award:
Doctoral
Awarding institution:
Oxford University, UK

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