Truth, Fiction, and Literature

Truth, Fiction, and Literature : A Philosophical Perspective

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Description

This book examines the complex and varied ways in which fictions relate to the real world, and offers a precise account of how imaginative works of literature can use fictional content to explore matters of universal human interest. While rejecting the traditional view that literature is important for the truths that it imparts, the authors also reject attempts to cut off literature altogether from real human concerns. Their detailed account of fictionality,
mimesis, and cognitive value helps restore to literature its distinctive status among cultural practices.

The authors also explore the limits of fictionality, particularly in relation to metaphysical and sceptical views, prevalent in modern thought, according to which the world itself is a kind of fiction, and truth no more than a cultural construct. They identify different conceptions of fiction in science, logic, epistemology, and make-believe, and thereby challenge the idea that discourse per se is fictional and that different modes of discourse are at root indistinguishable. They
offer rigorous analyses of the roles of narrative, imagination, metaphor, and 'making' in human thought processes.

Both in their methods and in their conclusions, Lamarque and Olsen aim to bring much-needed rigour and clarity to debates about the values of literature, and to provide new, philosophically sound foundations for a genuine change of direction in literary theorizing.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 494 pages
  • 138 x 216 x 28mm | 663g
  • Clarendon Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0198236816
  • 9780198236818
  • 1,019,193

Table of contents

1. Setting the Scene ; 2. The Practice of Storytelling ; 3. Truth-Value and Pretence ; 4. Content and Characters ; 5. Reference and 'About' ; 6. Aspects, Points of View, Objectivity ; 7. Metaphysics and Fictions ; 8. Truth-Making and World-Making ; 9. Narrative and Imagination ; 10. Literary Practice ; 11. Literature and Fiction ; 12. The Theory of Novelistic Truth ; 13. The Propositional Theory of Literary Truth ; 14. Metaphorical Truth ; 15. Literature as Philosophy ; 16. The Mimetic Aspect of Literature ; 17. Fiction, Literature, and Value ; Bibliography, Index
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Review quote

This most welcome addition to the philosophical literature dealing with fiction is an ample plum pudding of a book ... a rich feast. Everyone with an interest in the philosophy of literature will gain from a reading of it. * Keith Campbell, Journal of the Sydney Society of Literature and Aesthetics *
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About Peter Lamarque

Peter Lamarque is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Hull, England, and has recently been appointed Editor of the British Journal of Aesthetics. He has been a Visiting Fellow at the University of Tsukuba (Japan) and the Australian National University. He is the editor of Philosophy and Fiction: Essays in Literary Aesthetics (Aberdeen University Press, 1983). Stein Haugom Olsen is Professor of British Civilization Studies at the
University of Oslo, and a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science (arts section). He is the author of The Structure of Literary Understanding (CUP, 1978) and The End of Literary Theory (CUP, 1987).

Stein Haugom Olsen is Professor of British Civilization Studies at the University of Oslo, and a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science (arts section). He is the author of The Structure of Literary Understanding (CUP, 1978) and The End of Literary Theory (CUP, 1987).
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