It has long been considered a commonplace in moral philosophy that, in the process of conveying a moral thought, the content of that thought is separable from the manner of its expression; that, for example, the emotional tone of such an expression is not an essential part of the thought expressed. From this view, the role of literature in expressing moral thought is that the content of any moral thought conveyed in a literary work can be characterized independently of the work’s particular literary features, especially the narrative form of the work. We challenge this view by reference to Jane Austen’s use of free indirect style in her novel Persuasion.
- moral philosophy
- moral thought