chapter  3
19 Pages

Literary realism, recognition, and the communication of knowledge: Noël Carroll

The topic to be discussed in this chapter is often framed in terms of the notion

of artistic truth, but it is probably better construed as a matter of knowledge,

understanding, or, even more broadly, of cognition and the communication

thereof, since what is at stake in this discussion is whether art can deliver any-

thing of epistemic value to its audiences. It is not a dispute about whether art

might contain truths independently of the possibility of audiences deriving cog-

nitive value from the relevant artworks. The crux of the debate revolves around

the question of whether art is or can be a channel for the conveyance of

knowledge, or of some other sort of cognitive advantage for readers, listeners,

and/or viewers.1 Thus, the issue might be best posed as: can we learn anything

from artworks?