In Rethinking Philosophy with Borges, Zambrano, Paz, and Plato, Hugo Moreno argues that in Ficciones, Claros del bosque, and El mono gramático, Jorge Luis Borges, María Zambrano, and Octavio Paz practice a literary way of philosophizing—a way of seeking and communicating knowledge of reality that takes up analogical procedures. They deploy analogy as an indispensable and irreplaceable heuristic tool and literary device to convey their insight and perplexities on the nature of existence. Borges’ ironic approach involves reading and writing philosophy as fiction. Zambrano’s poetic reason is a mode of writing and thinking based on an imaginative sort of recollection that is ultimately a visionary’s poetizing technique. Paz’s poetic thinking relies on analogy to correlate and harmonize an array of worldviews, ideas, and discourses.
In the appendix, Moreno shows that Plato's Republic is a forerunner of this way of philosophizing in literature. Moreno suggests that in the Republic, Plato reconciles philosophy and poetry and creates a rational prose poetry that fuses argumentation and narration, dialectical and analogical reasoning, and abstract concepts and poetic images.
Hugo Moreno is visiting assistant professor of Hispanic studies at Lewis and Clark College.
Chapter 1: Is Borges’ Fiction a Kind of Philosophy? Four Schemas
Chapter 2: Borges’ Ironic Philosophy: The Way of the Same and the Way of Ts’ui Pên
Chapter 3: María Zambrano’s Mystical Philosophy: The Way of the Forest Wanderer
Chapter 4: Octavio Paz’s Romantic Philosophy: The Way of the Fairy-Feller
Appendix: Plato’s Philosophical Poetry in the Republic
About the Author
"This is a sweeping, path-breaking work for its careful exploration of relationships between philosophy and literature in the Greek, Anglo, and Hispanic traditions."