Art and Thought Experiments
DOI link for Art and Thought Experiments
Art and Thought Experiments book
This chapter elaborates first upon the kinds of claims that have been made by cognitivists about literary artworks, and the kinds of objections levied against cognitivism. It then shows why an appeal to thought experiments (TEs) might be thought an effective response to such objections. To evaluate such an appeal, the chapter considers debates about the cognitive value of TEs in science and in philosophy more generally. It also examines the claim that cinematic narratives can operate as TEs and can be ways whereby films can "do philosophy". The chapter explains the arguments against literary cognitivism. A defense of literary cognitivism that parallels the extreme inflationist account of scientific TEs might be the "Romantic" view of the literary artist as one whose words transmit to others her intuitive insight into the inner nature of things. Finally, it briefs comment on the use of TEs as a resource in the philosophy of Art.