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How to Do Things with Fictions - Oxford Scholarship Online
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How to Do Things with Fictions

Joshua Landy


This book offers a new rationale for the place of literary reading in the well-lived life. While it is often assumed that fictions must be informative or morally improving in order to be of any real benefit to us, certain texts defy this assumption by functioning as training-grounds for the capacities: in engaging with them we stand not to become more knowledgeable or more virtuous but more skilled, whether at rational thinking, at maintaining necessary illusions, at achieving tranquillity of mind, or even at religious faith. Instead of offering us propositional knowledge, these texts yield kn ... More

Keywords: fiction, literature, training, know-how, capacities, fine-tuning, spiritual exercises, skills, formative fictions, pragmatics of fiction

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780195188561
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195188561.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Joshua Landy, author
Stanford University

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Part One Clearing the Ground

Part Two Enchantment and Re-Enchantment

Part Three Logic and Anti-Logic

End Matter