The Forever Battle between Literature and Philosophy

Literature and Philosophy have long been at loggerheads. These schools of thought have always tried to contradict each other. They are the indispensible force of mankind. While فلسفة claims that its existence defines the mankind, literature asserts that its presence enriches lives. But on the flip side they live in a symbiotic relationship. For a long time famous literary works have been appreciated and criticized philosophically. The value it adds to the society, its role in the enrichment of mankind and advancement of time are some of the principal criteria by which literature is being intercepted. So when will this battle of philosophy and literature end? May be it will in some time, maybe not. These are the two most powerful houses which are in existent since the beginning and they are not growing old.ce-writing-775 During the late eighteenth century, scholars felt that literature and music shaped the cultural fabric of the society. But a large part of scholarly society put up a hostile face towards literature as they felt that it should not influence people. Literature has its own fans and admirers, but still scholars opposed its establishment. Language itself became a thing of war. By using language and using it as a weapon, philosophy and literature went into a war.Charles_Dickens_3

Fiction started to trickle in from the late nineteenth century. Now when fiction started to gain its momentum, philosophy again landed with a new tool of opposition. They felt that it issues a major threat to truth and language. Societal realities are being ignored and that’s why philosophy raised concerns.

But in all this time, philosophy also tried to maintain its own establishment. There has been quite a lot of good philosophical works which are still discussed and researched today. Vyasa Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, Omar Khayyám, Nizami Ganjavi, Sheikh Saadi, Hafiz Shirazi, Muhammad Iqbal, Matsuo Bashō, Farid ud-Din Attar, Salah Abd El-sabur, Mahmoud Darwish, Karim Elsaiad etc are some of the prominent names of eastern philosophy. Now when it comes to western philosophy Robert Creely, Mery Oliver and many others have ruled the rooster. Philosophy fictions also came into existence during the early establishment of philosophy when Plato started writing some dialogues. Many argue that it is just a personal perception and it should not be construed as the truth. But fiction is all about perceived truth.

So the debate is still going on. Nobody could establish with conviction that which of the two is fundamental. Is it literature or philosophy? I think we will. Or maybe we won’t.