Volume 8, Issue 31 (2015)                   LCQ 2015, 8(31): 115-140 | Back to browse issues page

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Hamedani O. Literature and the Problem of Knowledge: In Defence of Literary Cognitivism. LCQ. 2015; 8 (31) :115-140
URL: http://journals.modares.ac.ir/article-29-11144-en.html
Assistant Professor of Persian Literarure, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad
Abstract:   (2194 Views)
Literary cognitivism, as I understand it, comprises two theses: (1) some literary works can convey non-trivial knowledge to readers and (2) the cognitive value of a literary work is part and parcel of its aesthetic value. In this paper, I argue for the first thesis and elaborate upon the various mechanisms by means of which literary works produce propositional and non-propositional knowledge (including perspective-based knowledge, empathic or phenomenal knowledge and ability knowledge or know-how). To do so, I give a brief sketch of Plato’s anti-cognitivist epistemological objections against the epistemic status of literary works and go on to reformulate them from a modern perspective to provide a background for my epistemological inquiry. My defence of literary cognitivism welcomes different kinds of knowledge-forming mechanisms but pace thinkers such as Noam Chomsky and Martha Nussbaum who prefer the literary discourse over the philosophical or scientific discourse in that the former might sometimes provide us with a kind of knowledge that we may not find in the latter, cautiously and deliberatey averts from making such dubious claims.
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Article Type: Theoretical | Subject: philosophy and literature
Received: 2015/09/4 | Accepted: 2015/09/25 | Published: 2015/12/22
* Corresponding Author Address: Mashhad

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