Words, Words, Words: What’s the Point: Modes of Knowing in the Philosophical Study of Literature

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Vol: 8, Issue: 1

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Gonzalez, Denny
English Language and Literature; Philosophy
article description
On the surface, a work of fiction seems to be false. Despite being written by an author, a work of narrative fiction does not seem to provide any sort of truth, a concern most philosophers have with fiction. How do words, words, words, as Hamlet would say, matter or relate to a philosopher, deeply rooted in the pursuit of truth and understanding? Finding the answer to life’s deepest questions are presumably at the forefront of the philosopher’s mind. To these philosophers, narrative fiction fails to help us draw deeper and more intricate conclusions about the nature of reality and its contents. A novel is a fabrication; another human being has contrived it with some hidden agenda about which only he knows.