You are here:

Philosophy/philosophical study of a literary work


How do you do a philosophical analysis of a novel. I want to submit my proposal for PhD on a novel which has strong undercurrents of feminism. What methods one uses in such research.If you can share something on the methodology(s) used that would be of great help. Thanks
Sameema Zahra

Your thesis adviser would be a far better resource for this, but a general approach I can suggest is this::

What is the worldview of each of the characters? What do they value? Are the living in the same epistemological/ethical universe? Are they aware of their own commitments, or not? What would change if that were different? If they were aware, would they keep their current commitments? Why or why not? If they did change, how would this affect the story?

Exactly the same questions, of course, can be asked about the author. What are the expected philosophical commitments, given his or her background? Does the novel reflect them, or not?

Hope this helps.




All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Charles K. MacKay


I can answer a number of questions in philosophy; my academic concentrations (graduate school at Cornell) are ethics, political philosophy, and 19th-century German philosophy (Marx, Hegel, and hangers-on.)



BA, New College, 1971, Philosophy and Religion
Awarded four graduate fellowships upon graduation

MA, Cornell University, 1974
Social and Political Philosophy, Danforth Fellowship

All course work and dissertation drafts completed for Ph.D. Cornell University, 1971-1975, Social and Political Philosophy, Danforth Fellowship

Courses in statistics and microeconomics, George Washington University and The American University, 1976-1978

EXPERIENCE: Health Insurance Specialist 2005 - Present
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service
US Department of Health and Human Services

Allentown Business School Instructor (Computer Science) 2003 - 2005

Northampton Community College
Adjunct Professor of Philosophy 2003 -2005

Lehigh County Community College
Adjunct Professor of Philosophy and Computer Science


Medicare Made Easy (with Charles B. Inlander) Addison-Wesley, 1989

Good Operations, Bad Operations (with Charles B. Inlander) Viking Press, 1993

Health Rebooted: Information Changes Everything (in press), 2008

Bachelor of Arts, Philosphy and Religion, New College, 1971 Master of Arts, Social and Political Philosophy, Cornell University, 1975

Awards and Honors
Danforth Fellowship, Woodrow Wilson Fellowship

©2017 All rights reserved.