Implicit Assertions in Literary Fiction

Proceedings of the European Society for Aesthetics, vol. 2 (forthcoming)
In analytic aesthetics, a popular ‘cognitivist’ line of thought maintains that literary works of fictional kind may ‘imply’ or ‘suggest’ truths. Nevertheless, so-called anti-cognitivists have considered the concepts of implication and suggestion both problematic. For instance, cognitivists’s use of the word ‘implication’ seems to differ from all philosophical conceptions of implication, and ‘suggestion’ is generally left unanalysed in their theories. This paper discusses the role, kinds and conception of implication or suggestion in literature, issues which have received little attention in contemporary literary aesthetics. In the first part, the author shall examine classic views on implication in literature and introduce objections to the views. In the latter part, in turn, the author shall propose a definition of the ‘literary suggestion’ and discuss issues related to its interpretation.
Keywords implication  suggestion  literature  fiction  cognitivism
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