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December 28 , 2008

The Truth about Romanticism

Pragmatism and Idealism in Keats, Shelley, Coleridge


How have our conceptions of truth been shaped by romantic literature? This question lies at the heart of this examination of the concept of truth both in romantic writing and in modern criticism. The romantic idea of truth has long been depicted as aesthetic, imaginative and ideal. Tim Milnes challenges this picture, demonstrating a pragmatic strain in the writing of Keats, Shelley and Coleridge in particular, that bears a close resemblance to the theories of modern pragmatist thinkers such as Donald Davidson and Jürgen Habermas. Romantic pragmatism, Milnes argues, was in turn influenced by recent developments within linguistic empiricism. This book will be of interest to readers of romantic literature, but also to philosophers, literary theorists, and intellectual historians.

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