O'Brien, Lucy. The Novel as a Source for Self-Knowledge
2017, in Ema Sullivan-Bissett, Helen Bradley, and Paul Noordhof (eds.), Art and Belief, Oxford University Press.
Added by: Andrea Blomqvist
Abstract: I will argue that our capacity to directly read off truths from fiction, and the power of the novelist to testify to truths, is indeed limited. I will go on to argue that there are, however, further more indirect ways of coming to truths through fiction, but that even in those cases the author's power to manipulate should make the epistemically virtuous person proceed carefully. However, before I do that I want to raise three obvious kinds of response to our puzzle. These responses take issue with the claims by which the problem is set up, and I want to look at them briefly, really only to set them aside. My interest is primarily a resolution that hangs on to all three claims.
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Comment: This would be a good further reading for students who are interested in how we can learn from fiction, especially if they wish to write a coursework essay on the topic.