On Noël Carroll's cognitivist argument for fictional narratives

  • Nanyun SHEN (Speaker)

Activity: Talks or PresentationsOther Invited Talks or Presentations


Some philosophers doubt the cognitive value of narrative artwork, raising the following three challenges: 1. Art cannot provide propositional knowledge. 2. Even if it can, such propositional knowledge is mostly trivial. 3. Even if it is not mostly trivial, it does so in a cognitively inefficient way. Noël Carroll rebuts these challenges by arguing that narrative artwork can provide the audience with cognitive value since narrative artwork functions as some maieutic material that encourages the audience to come up with their own arguments and justifications based on their understanding of the artwork. In this talk, I shall give a reconstruction of Carroll's argument and then object to his argument in the skeptics' favor. Based on the objection, I shall also argue that learning from narrative artwork is epistemically inefficient/unsafe, and we should raise our level of vigilance while attempting to do so.
Period2 May 2023
Held atDepartment of Philosophy