© 2017

Philosophy and Oscar Wilde

  • Michael Y. Bennett

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-ix
  2. Facts

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 7-7
    2. Simon Reader
      Pages 9-27
    3. Philip E. Smith II
      Pages 29-51
    4. Jerusha McCormack
      Pages 73-104
  3. Fictions

  4. Michael Y. Bennett
    Pages E1-E1
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 191-194

About this book


This book is the first collection of essays to discuss Oscar Wilde’s love and vast knowledge of philosophy.  Over the past few decades, Oscar Wilde scholars have become increasingly aware of Wilde’s love and intimate knowledge of philosophy. Wilde’s “Oxford Notebooks” and his soon-to-be-published “Notebook on Philosophy” all point to Wilde not just as an aesthete, but also as a serious philosophical thinker. 

The aim of this collection is not to make the statement that Wilde was a philosopher, or that his works were philosophical tracts. Rather, it provides a space to explore any and all linkages between Wilde’s works and philosophical thought. Addressing a broad spectrum of philosophical matter, from classical philology to Daoism, ethics to aestheticism, this collection enriches the literature on Wilde and philosophy alike. 


ethics philology Daoism Oxford Notebooks aestheticism

Editors and affiliations

  • Michael Y. Bennett
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Languages and LiteraturesUniversity of Wisconsin-WhitewaterStoughtonUSA

About the editors

Michael Y. Bennett  is Associate Professor of English and affiliated faculty in Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He has authored four books exploring drama and philosophy, and has also edited four book collections (two on Oscar Wilde). His latest book, Analytic Philosophy and the World of the Play, is forthcoming in 2017.

Bibliographic information


“The essays in this volume investigate Wilde’s notebooks, reading lists, and literary output. … Overall, those interested in Wilde will find this an erudite and informative collection. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.” (S. Bernardo, Choice, Vol. 55 (3), November, 2017)

“Philosophy and Oscar Wilde takes as its provocation the recent and immanent publication of Wildean notebooks on the subject of philosophy. This collection, edited by Michael Y. Bennett, constitutes a valuable addition to our knowledge of Wilde’s influences and the development of his thought over time.” (SEL Studies in English Literature 1500-1900, Vol. 58 (4), 2018)