The World Seen Without a Self: The Epistemology of Unoccupied Perspectives in To the Lighthouse

Zachary David Gordon : English/Philosophy

Mentor: Professor Ann Banfield, English

Located at the nexus of linguistics, philosophy and literary studies, Zach's Senior Honors Thesis in English will examine Virginia Woolf'sĀ To the Lighthouse, specifically to illuminate the relationship between the theory of knowledge inherent in the novel's syntax and the epistemological issues the novel thematizes. In order to understand Woolf's syntactic use of "unoccupied perspectives" in the "Time Passes" section of the novel, Zach will be making use of a relatively unexploited linguistic approach to looking at philosophical issues in Woolf's fiction. His project will not only deepen our understanding of epistemological concerns in To the Lighthouse, it will also demonstrate more broadly how linguistical methods can be productively incorporated into literary scholarship.