Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry

Volume 8, Issue 19, Fall 2013

Charles Ross
Pages 1-10

Murrin, Lewis, Greenblatt, and the Aristotelian Self-Swerve

Michael Murrin’s work on allegory provides an instructive contrast to Stephen Greenblatt’s Aristotelian conception of art as representation. This essay argues that Christian Platonism created the allegorical mode in which Spenser wrote, allowing a different perspective of the self than the one Greenblatt describes in Renaissance Self-Fashioning. The essay then suggests that those Christian thinkers (cited by Greenblatt in The Swerve) who rejected Lucretius and Epicureanism did so for philosophical reasons deeply grounded in Plato’s thought–reasons that in the twentieth century found a home in the work of C. S. Lewis.