Is there any relation between Philosophy and Literature?

   Whether Philosophy and Literature are connected or not may have been a subject of your debates. Here is an article to give proper clarification of the two separate subjects. Philosophy is quite distinct from Literature, yet they share some similarities. 

  Is Philosophy a part of Literature or vice-versa? What are the differences between the two subjects? Is there any relation between Philosophy and Literature? 

 Firstly, Yes. There is a relation between what defines Philosophy and what defines Literature. However, one topic is much wider than the other.

What is Philosophy?

 Philosophy, in simple terms, means “Love of Wisdom” and is defined as the study of knowledge. It refers to the activity undertaken in search of secrets and proofs of popular beliefs, basic ideas, and mysteries. 

 Philosophy is the intense study of the nature of the world, time, reality, existence, and other similar abstract topics in hope of criticizing existing theories and creating or backing the best theories with evidences.

What is Literature?

 Literature is often defined as the study of written work, primarily those considered to be of great artistic value. However, Literature is much wider than what the definition portrays.

 Literature is predominantly text-centric but not necessarily. Also, some definitions portray Literature as primarily fictional. However, Literature refers to any written work on any written subject, whether fictional or non-fictional.

Difference Between Philosophy and Literature

The major difference between Philosophy and Literature is that Literature is mostly based on Fiction while Philosophy is based on theories. However, Literature is wide and covers much more than just fiction.

Philosophy is based on the critique of existing theories on abstract ideas that are difficult or impossible to prove. Literature, on the other hand, covers every written work on a particular subject. Literature is much wider than Philosophy and can be a lot of things.

Literature can refer to a fictional work that tells an impossible story. It can refer to a fictional work that tells stories of issues that affect society. Literature can refer to non-fiction also. Philosophy, however, brings non-fictional ideas together to back or debunk a non-fictional claim and create stronger theories about abstract topics.

 Is Philosophy a part of Literature? Yes. Since Aristotle, Philosophy is largely considered a genre of erudite prose. While prose defines Literature the most, it is only a part of what Literature entails. As long as Philosophy always talks about an abstract topic, it’s just another written work in Literature that talks about a subject.

Similarities between Philosophy and Literature

Is there any relation between Philosophy and Literature?
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This should help you answer the question of whether there is any relation between Philosophy and Literature. Here, we are pointing out 3 clearest similarities between the two subjects: 

  • Both are text-centric.
  • Both are influenced by society.
  • Both require deep reflections from writers.

Both are text-centric

 As mentioned earlier, Literature is mostly prose work. Modern literature is now beyond written work. There is also what we call Oral Literature. However, Literature mostly covers written work. Philosophy also refers to written work on abstract matters. Both subjects do not necessarily have to be written to be what they are.

Both are influenced by society.

 Both subjects often reflect the state of society. They show how far society has developed or how greatly society has degraded. They also show what parts of society are wrong or right.  Critique is not only a feature of Philosophy but can also be a feature of Literature.

 Philosophy is based on the critique of certain ideas and theories of society and how they are approached. While literature may be considered to be mostly imaginative, we also have non-fictional literature which tells exactly what is happening in society. Even Fictional literature is not necessarily or often distant from what is existing in our society. However, the reflection of true ideas and happenings do not necessarily make literature non-fictional.

Read Also: Philosophy or Literature, which is more important? 

Both require deep reflections from writers.

Is there any relation between Philosophy and Literature?

 Philosophers need to be deep thinkers to work around the subject of Philosophy. While they are treating a subject which the society finds relevant or irrelevant, they are required to piece together existing and proven theories in search of evidences to back their subject. When Philosophy deals with society, there is a need to reflect on what is wrong or right.

 Literature also requires a large amount of pondering in both fiction and non-fiction. When ideas are brought together for a story or an article, the writer needs a good judgment of whichever society he/she is writing to or about.


 The similarities between Philosophy and Literature are more than one. It’s not just about how text-centric both topics are but they can be considered interconnected.

 Literature overlaps to several topics, even those considered technical. However, it connects more with Philosophy due to its text-centric nature, need for pondering, and societal reflections.

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