Estetika 47 (1):51-70 (2010)

Jukka Mikkonen
Tampere University
In this paper, the author argues that literary works have distinct cognitive significance in changing their readers’ beliefs. In particular, he discusses ‘philosophical fictions’ and truthclaims that they may imply. Basing himself broadly on Aristotle’s view of the enthymeme, he argues that a work of literary fiction persuades readers of its truths by its dramatic structure, by illustrating or implying the suppressed conclusion. Further, he suggests that it is exactly this ‘literary persuasion’ which distinguishes literary works from merely didactic works prone to overt ‘argumentation’ and instruction.
Keywords literature  fiction  truth  knowledge  argumentation  persuasion  enthymeme  Aristotle
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