Logotherapy and the Empirical Research of Literature

Joaquin Trujillo


Literature is hermeneutics articulated to entertain and illuminate. It is a meaning-discovery-interpreting process. Literature, the art of thinking and language, creatively discloses the meaning of being human and deepens our understanding of human reality by publicly revealing who we are, who we have been, and our potentiality to be. Its ability to illuminate the human situation speaks to the profound interconnectedness existential-phenomenology has identified between “language, thinking, and human being” and the observation that “human being is language.” Good literature meaningfully renders the world—that is, human being (Dasein, there-being, existence) differentiated as being-in-the-world (In-der-Welt-sein)—to personal understanding. Great literature does it seamlessly. The reader does not notice the migration of meaning in great literature because he lives it. In great literature, λόγος (logos)—the ability of human being to comprehend the being of beings and communicate their meaning through language—is shared through the written word.

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