Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 19 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article presents thoughts about the role of literature as a source of knowledge. It is common to claim that in works of literature we find some of the most powerful representations of reality our culture has to offer. According to this view, the literary perspective is the definitive human perspective and works of literature represent cognitive achievements and embody ways of knowing the world. This article attempts to give a sense of how powerful the arguments against the cognitivist view of literature are and to bring to light how the philosopher beholden to it might respond to them. It argues that we must accept that literature's particular manner of engaging with reality is sui generis because it constitutes its own form of cognitive insight and shows that literature's cognitive achievements are intimately bound up with its aesthetic achievements.

Keywords: literature, knowledge, culture, human perspective, cognitive achievements, reality, aesthetic achievements

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.