The Transcendental Argument of the Novel

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Can fictional narration yield knowledge in a way that depends crucially on its being fictional? This is the hard question of literary cognitivism. It is unexceptional that knowledge can be gained from fictional literature in ways that are not dependent on its fictionality (e.g., the science in science fiction). Sometimes fictional narratives are taken to exhibit the structure of suppositional argument, sometimes analogical argument. Of course, neither structure is unique to narratives. The thesis of literary cognitivism would be supported if some novels exhibit a cogent and special argument structure restricted to fictional narratives. I contend that this is the case for a kind of transcendental argument. The reason is the inclusion and pattern of occurrence of the predicate ‘believable’ in the schema. Believability with respect to fictional stories is quite a different thing than it is with respect to nonfictional stories or anything else.
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First archival date: 2018-01-01
Latest version: 2 (2018-09-09)
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