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Defoe's "A True Relation," Personal Identity, and the Locke-Stillingfleet Controversy

Defoe's "A True Relation," Personal Identity, and the Locke-Stillingfleet Controversy by CHOLARS have shown that apparition stories such as (1706) were popular in his era because they explored and usually affirmed posthumous and supernatural experience despite the era's increasing materialism, which cast doubt upon such experience.1 To readers, as well as writers like Defoe, the denial of the reality of apparitions meant a rejection of God and the spiritual world and therefore of immortality. As Defoe was to assert in his ``Vision of the Angelic World'' (1720), those who try to discredit apparitions ``persuade themselves there are no spirits at all'' and that ``there is no God.'' 2 Apparition stories were important not only for religious but also for narrative reasons. According to Michael McKeon, because of their ``claim to historicity'' and ``empirical premise,'' these stories played an 1 See Coleman O. Parsons, ``Ghost Stories before Defoe,'' Notes and Queries 201 (1956): 293­98; Rodney Baine, Daniel Defoe and the Supernatural (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1968), 73 and passim; Michael McKeon, The Origins of the English Novel, 1600­1740 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987), 84.The popularity of ``A True Relation'' itself is worth documenting. In the first year or so of its publication, it averaged an edition a http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Studies in Philology University of North Carolina Press

Defoe's "A True Relation," Personal Identity, and the Locke-Stillingfleet Controversy

Studies in Philology , Volume 100 (3) – Apr 8, 2003

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University of North Carolina Press
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Copyright © 2003 by The University of North Carolina Press.
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1543-0383
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Abstract

by CHOLARS have shown that apparition stories such as (1706) were popular in his era because they explored and usually affirmed posthumous and supernatural experience despite the era's increasing materialism, which cast doubt upon such experience.1 To readers, as well as writers like Defoe, the denial of the reality of apparitions meant a rejection of God and the spiritual world and therefore of immortality. As Defoe was to assert in his ``Vision of the Angelic World'' (1720), those who try to discredit apparitions ``persuade themselves there are no spirits at all'' and that ``there is no God.'' 2 Apparition stories were important not only for religious but also for narrative reasons. According to Michael McKeon, because of their ``claim to historicity'' and ``empirical premise,'' these stories played an 1 See Coleman O. Parsons, ``Ghost Stories before Defoe,'' Notes and Queries 201 (1956): 293­98; Rodney Baine, Daniel Defoe and the Supernatural (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1968), 73 and passim; Michael McKeon, The Origins of the English Novel, 1600­1740 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987), 84.The popularity of ``A True Relation'' itself is worth documenting. In the first year or so of its publication, it averaged an edition a

Journal

Studies in PhilologyUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Apr 8, 2003

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