Talk on T.S. Eliot and Bertrand Russell at Bilkent
Dr. April Pierce (PhD, University of Oxford): “Telling the Truth: T.S. Eliot and the Linguistic Turn”
Wednesday, March 15, at 4 pm in G-160.
Abstract: What is truth? More specifically, how do we know that what we say attributes to the external world? This lecture looks at the way a young T.S. Eliot, modernist and proto-post-modernist poet-philosopher, posed the question of truth in his early years as a philosophy student. We will visit Eliot’s early ideas about language, closely examining his relationship to Bertrand Russell, a forefather for analytic philosophy of language. First, we will consider the modernist “moment” as it pertains to language theory, then look at Eliot’s early work in philosophy of language. Eliot and Russell’s relationship, both personal and philosophical, will be described, and their perspectives on the question of truth-telling will be compared and contrasted. Finally, we will consider a few ways Eliot’s poetry “answers” questions posed by his early philosophy, looking at themes and devices used in his later writing.