Truth, Fiction, and Literature: A Philosophical Perspective

Oxford University Press (1994)
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 literature off altogether from real human concerns. Their detailed account of fictionality, mimesis, and cognitive value, founded on the methods of analytical philosophy, restores to literature its distinctive status among cultural practices. The authors also explore metaphysical and skeptical views, prevalent in modern thought, according to which the world itself is a kind of fiction, and truth no more than a social 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 restore rigor 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.
Keywords Literature Philosophy  Literature Aesthetics  Narration (Rhetoric  Fiction  Truth in literature  Reality in literature
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 1996
Buy the book $36.29 used (41% off)   $47.75 new (22% off)   $57.49 direct from Amazon (6% off)    Amazon page
Call number PN45.L316 1994
ISBN(s) 0198236816   9780198236818  
DOI 10.2307/431635
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,411
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Roman Frigg (2010). Models and Fiction. Synthese 172 (2):251-268.
Stacie Friend (2007). Fictional Characters. Philosophy Compass 2 (2):141–156.
John Gibson (2008). Cognitivism and the Arts. Philosophy Compass 3 (4):573-589.

View all 27 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

243 ( #12,744 of 1,924,740 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

43 ( #8,669 of 1,924,740 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.