Truth and Art: A Discussion between Two Philosophical Traditions




Della Zazzera, Anthony

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Peter Lamarque and Stein Haugom Olsen, in Truth, Fiction, and Literature: A Philosophical Perspective (1994), advance a "no-truth" theory of literature, which has become highly influential in the analytic tradition of the philosophy of art. However, considering the historical precursors that have influenced them, their work has been defined largely without considering certain strands of Continental philosophy. In particular, they do not seriously consider the tradition of Heideggerian phenomenology. In this thesis, by relying on the philosophy of Heideggerian thinker Hans-Georg Gadamer, I argue that Lamarque and Olsen advance their no-truth theory of literature because they consider the concept of truth too narrowly. However, there are key elements of Lamarque and Olsen's theory that come very close to a Gadamerian view of art but cannot be satisfactorily explained by appealing only to the fundamental tenets of their strand of analytic philosophy. I conclude by opposing their theory insofar as it is a no-truth theory of literature, but by supporting their theory insofar as it reiterates certain insights that are provided by Gadamer.



Truth, Art, Philosophy, Hermeneutics, Analytic, Continental