Evolution and literary studies: Time to evolve

David Fishelov*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This essay has two aims: first, to reexamine the assumption that literature is evolutionarily beneficial, and second, to argue that, rather than focusing on the alleged biological base of literature, we should examine the similarities and differences between biological and literary evolution. To illustrate the usefulness of such examination, I briefly discuss terms such as "survival" and "lineage." The article concludes with the suggestion that literature is good for us, not necessarily because it contributes to life but because it contributes to a life worth living.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)272-289
Number of pages18
JournalPhilosophy and Literature
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Johns Hopkins University Press.


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