Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy


Literature and Practical Knowledge

Issue: Issue 03 • Author/s: Pascal Engel
Topics: Aesthetics, Meta-Philosophy, Theoretical philosophy

This article defends literary cognitivism, the view that literature can convey genuine propositional knowledge, in the form of propositions which are (i) true (ii) justified and (iii) have aesthetic value because they convey such knowledge. I reply to familiar objections to this view, and reformulate it as the thesis that literary knowledge is a form practical knowledge that is only derivatively propositional. I attempt to apply some ideas to be found in Stanley’s and Williamson’s conception of knowing how. Literary knowledge is a kind of practical knowing how of propositions…

Can Unmodified Food Be Culinary Art? [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 10 • Author/s: Sara Bernstein
Topics: Aesthetics, Metaphysics, Ontology

You are sitting in a fancy restaurant. After an extensively prepared, multi-course meal, out comes the dessert course: an unmodified but perfectly juicy, fresh peach. Many restaurants serve such unmodified or barely-modified foods, intending them to count as culinary art. This paper takes up the question of whether such unmodified foods, served in the relevant institutional settings, do count as culinary art. Drawing on debates about the metaphysics of art, I compare and contrast the case of unmodified food to Duchamp’s “Fountain” (1917), pointing out relevant similarities and differences between…

Fiction and Imagination: Introduction [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 11 • Author/s: Carola Barbero, Matteo Plebani, Alberto Voltolini
Topics: Aesthetics, Metaphysics, Ontology, Philosophy of language, Philosophy of mind

Simulation Modelling in Fiction [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 11 • Author/s: Conrad Aquilina
Topics: Aesthetics, Metaphysics, Ontology, Philosophy of language, Philosophy of mind, Philosophy of science

This essay assesses the claim that model structures have features in common with narratology and fiction-making. It proposes that simulation—a form of modelling—is amenable to literary narratives which are hypermimetic, in the sense that their cognitive or material reception by the reader demands a phenomenology attained through the heightening of a mimetic secondary reality. Simulation models construct frames of reference for target systems through self-validating mechanisms, and the same is true of narratology. I specifically argue that the modelling of a world out of text, one which is written and…

Spoiler Alert! Unveiling the Plot in Thought Experiments and other Fictional Works [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 11 • Author/s: Daniele Molinari
Topics: Aesthetics, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of science

According to a recent philosophical claim, “works of fiction are thought experiments” (Elgin 2007: 47), though there are relevant differences, as the role of spoilers shows—they can ruin a novel but improve the understanding we can gain through a thought experiment. In the present article I will analyze the role of spoilers and argue for a more differentiated perspective on the relation between literature and thought experiments. I will start with a short discussion of different perspectives on thought experiments and argue that the mental-model view and the conception of…

From Fictional Disagreements to Thought Experiments [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 11 • Author/s: Louis Rouillé
Topics: Aesthetics, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ontology, Philosophy of science

In this paper, I present a conceptual connection between fictional disagreements and thought experiments. Fictional disagreements happen when two readers disagree about a fictional detail. The “great beetle debate” is a paradigmatic case. Nabokov once argued that Gregor Samsa, in The Metamorphosis, metamorphosed into a beetle. Yet many critics and readers imagine Gregor to be a big cockroach. Analysing a fictional disagreement is interesting because it exhibits the informational structure which is common to all fictions. First, it shows the distinction between the fictional foreground (what is expressed by the…

Book Reviews

Issue: Issue 11 • Author/s: Peter Øhrstrøm, Giulia Lorenzi, Laura Caponetto, Bianca Cepollaro
Topics: Aesthetics, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Moral Philosophy, Ontology, Philosophy of language, Theoretical philosophy