Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Summer 2006

Publication Title

Journal of Modern Literature

Abstract

Woolf was one of many modernists who led an assault on philosophy. Given her anti-philosophical orientation, those scholars who use philosophy to interpret Woolf, I argue, are implicitly at odds with her aesthetic. Crucial to my argument is Woolf's conception of what I refer to as the semiotic unconscious, which predetermines the conceptual systems we use to systematize our experiences of the world. Based on my findings, I suggest an alternative frame for understanding Woolf's treatment of philosophy and, more generally, modernist anti-philosophicalism. Instead of assuming that philosophy signifies intellectual depth, as many scholars do, I suggest approaching Woolf, as well as many modernists, in terms of their scathing critique of philosophy. What we need are more studies that use a new frame to discuss the literary modernist assault on philosophy. As for Woolf, I conclude: to have an intimate understanding of her work, we must first banish philosophy and the philosopher.

Volume

29

Issue

4

First Page

76

Last Page

98

DOI

https://www.jstor.org/stable/3831881

ISSN

0022-281X

Comments

This article was published as

Lackey, Michael. “Modernist Anti-Philosophicalism and Virginia Woolf's Critique of Philosophy.” Journal of Modern Literature, vol. 29, no. 4, 2006, pp. 76–98.

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Rights

Journal of Modern Literature © 2006 Indiana University Press

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