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Metaphor and Moral Experience$
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A. E. Denham

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198240105

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198240105.001.0001

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Art and Morality (2)

Art and Morality (2)

(p.332) 10 Art and Morality (2)
Metaphor and Moral Experience

A. E. Denham

Oxford University Press

It is now clear that works of literary art can inform moral judgements, contributing to their justifiability and their truth. This chapter suggests how certain features of metaphor can be extended to explain the positive epistemic value of fiction and its special contributions to the epistemic credentials of moral experience. Moral judgements are truth-apt, where ‘truth’ is construed in minimalist terms. Moral properties are a species of response-dependent ones (where a response-dependent property is just one satisfying a response-dependent concept). Unlike secondary qualities, however, they are not sensible simples and nor are they objects of any distinctive perceptual faculty. While the subjective imagination provides a degree of access to the phenomenological features of others' experience, it is not a necessary condition for the possession of concepts of experience and other ‘experience-dependent’ concepts.

Keywords:   metaphor, truth, fiction, moral experience, moral judgements, imagination, figurative language, literary art

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