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Truth, Fiction, and LiteratureA Philosophical Perspective$
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Peter Lamarque and Stein Haugom Olsen

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198236818

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198236818.001.0001

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Truth-Making and World-Making

Truth-Making and World-Making

8 Truth-Making and World-Making
Truth, Fiction, and Literature

Peter Lamarque

Stein Haugom Olsen

Oxford University Press

This chapter gives a detailed appraisal of two accounts of truth — propounded by Rorty and Goodman — both of which seek to redraw the bounds of the fictional. The accounts can be taken as exemplary of two marked trends in literary theory: the anti-philosophical and the anti-realist. Rorty's anti-metaphysical stance represents a fairly widespread negative attitude, among literary theorists, towards the ‘privileging’ of philosophy. Goodman brings to bear the precision of the analytic philosopher in support of an ‘irrealist’ view of the world, the central points of which are strikingly similar to those found within post-structuralism. It is argued that neither the anti-philosophical polemic of Rorty nor the anti-realism of Goodman succeeds in extending the bounds of the fictional in a way that calls for any radical revision in how we conceive the relation between works of fiction and works of an overtly truth-seeking kind.

Keywords:   truth, Rorty, Good, fiction, anti-philosophical, anti-realist

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