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The electronic version of Estetika: The Central European Journal of Aesthetics is available at: www.ceeol.com

1/2010

XLVII (New Series: III)
Issued: 15th May 2010
Founded: 1964
Biannual
Re-established as an international journal: 2008
ISSN: 0014 –1291
Language: English, German

On the Body of Literary Persuasion

http://aesthetics.ff.cuni.cz/archive/256/on-the-body-of-literary-persuasion

 

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 truth-claims 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.