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On the Body of Literary Persuasion
On the Body of Literary Persuasion

Author(s): Jukka Mikkonen
Subject(s): Philosophy
Published by: Ústav dějin umění Akademie věd České republiky
Keywords: literature; fiction; Aristotle; enthymeme; literary fiction; truth in fiction

Summary/Abstract: 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 (or other parts missing in the argument). Further, he suggests that it is exactly this ‘literary persuasion’ which distinguishes literary works from merely didactic works prone to overt ‘argumentation’ and instruction.

  • Issue Year: XLVII/2010
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 51-70
  • Page Count: 20
  • Language: English