First Advisor

Narcisi, Lara


Regis College

Degree Name



Regis College Senior Honors Program

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access



Number of Pages

86 pages


This thesis provides a survey of post-foundational philosophy and explains reader response theory as one possible application of its insights within the field of literary theory. The main premise that unites these two theories is that belief precedes inference. Before people encounter any element of their world or any literary work, they harbor certain presuppositions that influence how they perceive and interact with that subject. This thesis ultimately centers on the question of whether a postmodern author who buys into these theories can presume to influence readers or larger society. It asks whether people can overcome these prior beliefs in order to significantly change their worldview, interact with opposed ideologies, and ultimately alter society. Through a reader response analysis of Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 and Inherent Vice, the author argues that post-foundationalism allows writers to influence readers in a manner that is neither specific nor direct but nonetheless valuable.

Date of Award

Spring 2012

Location (Creation)

Denver, Colorado

Rights Statement

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