Storie, ipotesi, gradi di verità

Metodo. International Studies in Phenomenology and Philosophy 2 (2):141-163 (2014)
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Abstract

Stories express hypotheses, interpretations of the world that have a certain degree of probability. To demonstrate this thesis I have adopted the notion of hypothesis, in a sense very close to the Meinongian concept of assumption, and a ‘metric’ conception of the values of the truth or falsity of a proposition – as that has been proposed in several ways by Peirce, Vasil’ev and Meinong. To show the the cognitive value of literary texts, and therefore their truth value, I take my move from chapter 9 of Aristotle’s Poetics, where he holds that poetry is imitative of reality, not in the sense of history – which relates what has happened – but rather, in so far as it expresses “the kinds of things that might happen, that is, that could happen because they are either probable or necessary.” The probable admits variations of degree. By means of an examination of the Meinongian concepts of assumption and objective (i.e. state of affairs), which also allow different modes of gradation, I introduce, with examples drawn from Dante’s Divine Comedy and The Description (Tradimento) by Machiavelli, a theory of degrees of truth that makes it possible to apply the concept of probability to literary as well as to historical texts. Finally, I connect the universal character of the literary text with the ontological notion of incomplete object and argue that a fictional object, as it is incomplete, is not an individual but a type.

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Venanzio Raspa
Università degli Studi di Urbino

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References found in this work

Über Annahmen.A. Meinong - 1913 - Mind 22 (85):90-102.
Aristotle on the Philosophical Nature of Poetry.J. M. Armstrong - 1998 - Classical Quarterly 48 (2):447-455.

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