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Truth, Fiction, and Literature: A Philosophical Perspective (Clarendon Library of Logic and Philosophy) Paperback – May 15, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0198236818 ISBN-10: 0198236816
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Editorial Reviews

Review


"[Lamarque and Olsen's] "no truth" theory is a welcome corrective to strongly cognitivist views and deserves to become an important source in the debate about the nature and value of literature."--The Philosophical Review


About the Author

Peter Lamarque is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Hull, England, and has recently been appointed Editor of the British Journal of Aesthetics. He has been a Visiting Fellow at the University of Tsukuba (Japan) and the Australian National University. He is the editor of Philosophy and Fiction: Essays in Literary Aesthetics (Aberdeen University Press, 1983) Stein Haugom Olsen is Professor of British Civilization Studies at the University of Oslo, and a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science (arts section) He is the author of The Structure of Literary Understanding (CUP, 1978) and The End of Literary Theory (CUP, 1987) Stein Haugom Olsen is Professor of British Civilization Studies at the University of Oslo, and a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science (arts section) He is the author of The Structure of Literary Understanding (CUP, 1978) and The End of Literary Theory (CUP, 1987)
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Product Details

  • Series: Clarendon Library of Logic and Philosophy
  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (May 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198236816
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198236818
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.1 x 5.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,705,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J.D. Hunley on August 25, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lamarque and Olsen's book is written by two aesthetic philosophers and its intended audience is apparently other philosophers. It is a thoughtful study but rather long-winded and difficult to follow as well as complex. Basically, the two authors reject truth claims for fiction, including literature. But at times, they come close to allowing some validity to points of view expressed in fiction.

Thus, they wrote near the end of the book: "We have denied that literary value can be located in a truth-telling function. At the same time we have argued that `literature' is an evaluative concept, which bears with it a commitment to some sort of universalist view of value." Thus, they accepted that "works of fiction" (distinguished from literature in terms of the "literary aesthetic value" and "humanly interesting content" in literature) . . . can . . . be about all of us but not about any one of us" and that we can "learn from fiction."

They also admit that "the problems of the relationship between literature and fiction have no obvious solutions," but they do insist: "the problem itself is at least clearly defined in relation to the description of particular characters, situations, events, actions, plots, etc. which constitute this level of a literary work." Further complicating the picture, they argued that for many commentators, "although literary works are not literally true, . . . they are none the less metaphorically true." Lamarque and Olsen reject this view, stating "the unfamiliar juxtapositions effected by metaphor can, on a modest view, reveal previously unnoticed aspects of the world or, on more radical views, even create new realities. But this does not solve the truth problem.
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7 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Curupira on August 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
1. Setting the Scene - 1
2. The Practice of Story-Telling - 29
3. Truth-Value and Pretence - 53
4. Content and Characters - 77
5. Reference and 'About' - 107
6. Aspects, Points of View, and Objectivity - 138
7. Metaphysics and Fictions - 161
8. Truth-Making and World-Making - 192
9. Narrative and Imagination - 222
10. Literary Practice - 255
11. Literature and Fiction - 268
12. The Theory of Novelistic Truth - 289
13. The Propositional Theory of Literary Truth - 321
14. Metaphorical Truth - 339
15. Literature as Philosophy - 368
16. The Mimetic Aspect of Literature - 398
17. Fiction, Literature, and Value - 440
Bibliography - 457
Index - 473
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