1st Edition

A Sense of the World Essays on Fiction, Narrative, and Knowledge

Edited By John Gibson, Wolfgang Huemer, Luca Pocci Copyright 2008
    360 Pages
    by Routledge

    360 Pages
    by Routledge

    A team of leading contributors from both philosophical and literary backgrounds have been brought together in this impressive book to examine how works of literary fiction can be a source of knowledge. Together, they analyze the important trends in this current popular debate.

    The innovative feature of this volume is that it mixes work by literary theorists and scholars with work of analytic philosophers that combined together provide a comprehensive statement of the variety of ways in which works of fiction can engage questions of worldly interest. It uses the problem of cognitive value to explore:

    • literature’s contribution to ethical life
    • literature’s ability to engage in social and political critique
    • the role narrative plays in opening up possibilities of moral, aesthetic, experience and selfhood

    This remarkable volume will attract the attention of both literature and philosophy scholars with its statement of the various ways that literature and life take an interest in one another.

    Introduction John Gibson  Part 1: Narrative as a Form of Knowing  1. Narration and Knowledge Arthur Danto  2. The Ends of Narrative Richard Eldridge  3. Problems of Holocaust Fiction Bernard Harrison  4. The Truth about Stories is that that's All We Are Linda Hutcheon  5. Narrative and the Fulfillment of Knowledge John Gibson  Part 2: Fiction & Cognition  6. Learning from Literature Peter Lamarque  Cognitive Functions of Fiction Catherine Z. Elgin  7. Poetry and Cognition Eileen John  8. Fiction, Simulation, and Knowledge Susan Feagin  9. Nonsense, Logic, and Wishing A. D. Nuttall  10. Knowledge Across Fictional Worlds and Real Worlds Lubomir Dolezel  11. Drawing Inferences from Literature Wolfgang Huemer  Part 3: The Epistemology of Literary Appreciation  12. Myths and Legends Kendall Walton  13. Interpretation, Emergence, and Insight Wolfgang Iser  14. En Abyme:Internal Models and Cognitive Mapping Brian McHale  15. The Return of the Represses: Caring about Fiction and its Themes Luca Pocci    


    John Gibson is Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Temple University, USA. He is co-editor (with Wolfgang Huemer) of The Literary Wittgenstein (Routledge, 2004).

    Wolfgang Huemer is assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Erfurt, Germany. He is author of The Constitution of Consciousness. A Study on Analytic Phenomenology (Routledge, 2004).

    Luca Pocci received his PhD in Comparative Literature and currently teaches in Siena. The scope of his research interests range from literary theory (with a particular focus on thematic criticism) to interdisciplinary fields, such as the interplay between the discourses of fiction and historiography.

    "...this volume makes an important contribution by focusing on several areas in which literary fiction and narrative remain of vital contemporary philosophical interest." -- Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews