Research Article

Truth Matters, Aesthetically



This paper defends a version of aesthetic cognitivism: the truth of statements expressed, implied, or alluded to by a work of fiction matters aesthetically, and bears upon the work’s aesthetic value. Our aim is to explore a route from truth to aesthetic value that claims, roughly, that, if our engagement with a work of fiction is based on truth, it is more vivid than otherwise, and thereby contributes to the aesthetic value of the work. Whether truth increases the vividness of our engagement with fiction is an empirical question. On the assumption that it does, we spell out some consequences for the aesthetic value, and in particular for the literary value of a work, as well as for critical practice.


aesthetic cognitivismfictionvividnessaesthetic valueliterary valuecritical practice
  • Year: 2021
  • Volume: 58 Issue: 2
  • Page/Article: 114–128
  • DOI: 10.33134/eeja.224
  • Submitted on 31 Jan 2020
  • Accepted on 4 Nov 2020
  • Published on 16 Sep 2021
  • Peer Reviewed