Radhika Koul on Poetic Epistemologies
How do we know the world, and what does poetry have to do with it? This question has exercised theologians, natural philosophers, and neuroscientists down the ages. Thinkers from two particular periods of human flourishing (medieval Kashmir and early modern Europe) were especially concerned with this thorny relationship between epistemology and ontology on the one hand, and poetry on the other. In this chapter of my dissertation, I engage thinkers like Sidney, Descartes, Pascal, Abhinavagupta and Utpaladeva to untie this knot from different standpoints: the creativity of our seemingly transparent perceptions, the imaginative nature of vision, and the poetic relationship between “what’s out there” and the self. We will take these thinkers from two distinct and unrelated as valuable interlocutors in debates that continue in the labs and papers of diverse academic fields today. At stake is not only the question of why we read and write literature but also the very nature of our thinking, interpreting selves.
Radhika's draft is part of her dissertation project, titled "The Drama of our World: Spectator and Subject in Medieval Kashmir and Early Modern Europe."
This a pre-read workshop event, the daft will be distrubuted via listserv email on June 4th; please e-mail email@example.com for a copy of Radhika's draftif you have not received it by June 4th.