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Angela Carter's (de)philosophising of Western thought. / Heidi, Yeandle
Swansea University Author: Heidi, Yeandle
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What do Plato, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Hobbes, Rene Descartes, John Locke, David Hume, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Gilbert Ryle, Immanuel Kant, and the Marquis de Sade have in common? Spanning centuries and - when it comes to Plato - millennia, they are key figures of Western philosophy who have disc...
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What do Plato, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Hobbes, Rene Descartes, John Locke, David Hume, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Gilbert Ryle, Immanuel Kant, and the Marquis de Sade have in common? Spanning centuries and - when it comes to Plato - millennia, they are key figures of Western philosophy who have discussed ideas of reality, knowledge, existence, the state of nature, and morality, ideas which are central to Angela Carter's novels. In this thesis, I position Carter as a (de)philosophiser, and argue that she deconstructs the pivotal theories of Western philosophy, while also philosophising on the same concepts, contributing a female voice to this overwhelmingly androcentric discipline. In doing so, I contribute the first in- depth discussion of Carter's philosophical intertextuality to Carter criticism, going beyond Carter's explicit references that, to date, have been acknowledged by Carter scholars; although this is an original topic, the originality of my argument is boosted by my references t) the archival material that comprises the Angela Carter Papers Collection. The thesis is structured according to Carter's engagement with the range of Western thinkers aforementioned, focusing on Plato's impact on Heroes and Villains (1969), The infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman (1972) and The Passion of New Eve (1977) in Chapter One, while Chapter Two is dedicated to Carter's analysis of Hobbes and Rousseau's arguments in Heroes and Villains. In Chapter Three I discuss Descartes (in relation to Doctor Hoffman), Locke (vis-a-vis Shadow Dance, 1966, New Eve, and Nights at the Circus, 1984), and Hume, with reference to Several Perceptions (1968) and Love (written 1969, published 1971). Wittgenstein and Ryle's impact on Doctor Hoffman and Carter's time in Japan are examined in Chapter Four. The fifth and final chapter concentrates on Carter and moral philosophy, paying particular attention to Kant and Sade and discussing Shadow Dance, Several Perceptions, and Love, as well as Doctor Hoffman and The Sadeian Woman (1979).
College of Arts and Humanities