Fiction as Thought Experiment

Perspectives on Science 22 (2):221-241 (2014)
Authors
Catherine Elgin
Harvard University
Abstract
Jonathan Bennett (1974) maintains that Huckleberry Finn’s deliberations about whether to return Jim to slavery afford insight into the tension between sympathy and moral judgment; Miranda Fricker (2007) argues that the trial scene in To Kill a Mockingbird affords insight into the nature of testimonial injustice. Neither claims merely that the works prompt an attentive reader to think something new or to change her mind. Rather, they consider the reader cognitively better off for her encounters with the novels. Nor is her cognitive improvement restricted to acquiring new justified true beliefs about the works themselves. What the reader gleans is supposed to enhance her knowledge or understanding of the ..
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DOI 10.1162/POSC_a_00128
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References found in this work BETA

The Wheel of Virtue: Art, Literature, and Moral Knowledge.Noël Carroll - 2002 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 60 (1):3–26.
Experimentation and Scientific Realism.Ian Hacking - 1982 - Philosophical Topics 13 (1):71-87.
The Conscience of Huckleberry Finn.Jonathan Bennett - 1974 - Philosophy 49 (188):123-134.
Rethinking Thought Experiments.Alisa Bokulich - 2001 - Perspectives on Science 9 (3):285-307.
Literature as Thought Experiment (on Aiding and Abetting the Muse.Edward A. Davenport - 1983 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 13 (3):279-306.

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Citations of this work BETA

Literature and Thought Experiments.David Egan - 2016 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 74 (2):139-150.

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Understanding: Art and Science.Catherine Z. Elgin - 1993 - Synthese 95 (1):196-208.

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