•  47
    Between the Lines: A Philosophy of Theatre
    Oxford University Press. 2024.
    In Between the Lines: A Philosophy of Theatre, theatre theorist, Michael Y. Bennett offers a systematic account of theatre--thinking about theatre metaphysically, epistemologically, and ethically. To investigate theatre and its in-between spaces, Bennett introduces some basic ideas about coherence and correspondence and, much more prominently, conversations surrounding subsumption and distinctness in order to better describe theatre as a form of art. Instead of limiting the concept and use of su…Read more
  •  21
    Trajectories
    Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry 6 (15): 56-64. 2011.
    This “experimental” essay both investigates maps and functions as a map. Taking its cue from the Deleuzean rhizome, this essay proposes a new method of inquiry based upon the Scientific Method. This essay works as a series of displacements. Each piece of new evidence will take the paper in a different direction. After each piece of evidence is introduced, it will be my job to draw conclusions about the displacement. This inquiry works like a Deleuzean map.
  •  37
    In Defense of Abstract Creationism: A Recombinatorial Approach
    Philosophy and Literature 45 (2): 489-495. 2021.
    As a version of creationism—which claims that fictional charac- ters are created by authors who write characters into existence by penning their names in their works—abstract creationism claims that fictional objects are abstract entities. However, I want to modify the conception of what constitutes a fictional object. In short, I am going to give a defense of abstract creationism that offers answers to the questions, as outlined by Stuart Brock, of ontology, identity, and plenitude by developin…Read more
  •  8
    In this unique study, Michael Y. Bennett re-reads four influential modern plays alongside their contemporary debates between rationalism and empiricism to show how these monumental achievements were thoroughly a product of their time, but also universal in their epistemological quest to understand the world through a rational and/or empirical model. Bennett contends that these plays directly engage in their contemporary epistemological debates rather than through the lens of a specific philosoph…Read more
  •  51
    Intrinsic-Extrinsic Properties in Theater
    Philosophy and Literature 45 (1): 34-38. 2021.
    David Friedell has recently discussed the relationship between intrinsic and extrinsic properties of art, specifically in music. Friedell claims that normative social rules dictate who can change the intrinsic or extrinsic properties of a piece of music. I claim that in text-based theater—as a particular art form—the dividing line between intrinsic and extrinsic properties of a play is sometimes tenuous. This tenuousness is due to a play's bifurcated existence as a dramatic text and as many thea…Read more
  •  37
    The Problems of Viewing Performance challenges long-held assumptions by considering the ways in which knowledge is received by more than a single audience member, and breaks new ground by, counterintuitively, claiming that viewing performance is not a shared experience. Given that viewers come to each performance with differing amounts and types of knowledge, they each make different assumptions as to how the performance will unfold. Often modified by other viewers and often after the performanc…Read more
  •  446
    “Propositions in Theatre: Theatrical Utterances as Events”
    Journal of Literary Semantics 47 (2): 147-152. 2018.
    Using William Shakespeare’s Hamlet and the play-within-the play, The Murder of Gonzago, as a case study, this essay argues that theatrical utterances constitute a special case of language usage not previously elucidated: the utterance of a statement with propositional content in theatre functions as an event. In short, the propositional content of a particular p (e.g. p1, p2, p3 …), whether or not it is true, is only understood—and understood to be true—if p1 is uttered in a particular time, pla…Read more
  •  25
    "Theatrical Names and Reference"
    Palgrave Communications 1 (1). 2015.
    The relationship between “character” and an “actor” appears to be quite straightforward: an actor acts as/plays character [x]. But let us be more specific and reword this formulation: actor [y] acts as/plays Hamlet. Or – for the time of the play – actor [y] is Hamlet. And it is this last statement that is paradoxically utterly true and utterly false. It is in the name of a theatrical character that the tension between actor and character arises. Asking, for example, who is Hamlet? yields an answ…Read more
  •  83
    "The Philosophy of Theater"
    Oxford Bibliographies. 2020.
    Theater—i.e., traditional text-based theater—is often considered the art form that most closely resembles lived life: real bodies in space play out a story through the passage of time. Because of this, theater (or theatre) has long been a laboratory of, and for, philosophical thought and reflection. The study of philosophy and theater has a history that dates back to, and flourished in, ancient Greece and Rome. While philosophers over the centuries have revisited the study of theater, the past f…Read more
  •  54
    Theatrical characters’ dual existence on stage and in text presents a unique, challenging case for the analytical philosopher. Analytic Philosophy and the World of the Play re-examines the ontological status of theatre and its fictional objects through the "possible worlds" thesis, arguing that theatre is not a mirror of our world, but a re-creation of it. Taking a fresh look at theatre’s key elements, including the hotly contested relationships between character and actor; onstage and offstage …Read more
  •  34
    Trajectories
    Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry 6 (15): 56-64. 2011.
    This “experimental” essay both investigates maps and functions as a map. Taking its cue from the Deleuzean rhizome, this essay proposes a new method of inquiry based upon the Scientific Method. This essay works as a series of displacements. Each piece of new evidence will take the paper in a different direction. After each piece of evidence is introduced, it will be my job to draw conclusions about the displacement. This inquiry works like a Deleuzean map.