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Can liretature ''tell the truth'' better than other areas of knowledge?

  1. Nov 3, 2006 #1
    Hye everybody...
    I have a problem here..actually i'm taking International Baccaulareate course and i've required to do a Theory of Knowledge essay in order for me to get my diploma...The question is :

    *Can liretature ''tell the truth'' better than other areas of knowledge?*

    I've problems in interpreting this questions and also to get the contents of it.The areas of knowledge that I want to compare with the literature is natural science, social science and mathematics..

    Can somebody help me...please..i need to submit this 1500 words essay within two months from now..I've work hard for this topic but I can't still produce a satisfying essay...please...

    Best regards...:confused:
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 3, 2006 #2
    I would advise you to do a search (keyword "knowledge") of the PF philosophy section for a lot of good discussions on the meaning of knowledge. It gets discussed quite often.

    It also might be better for us to help you if you provide us some of your initial research on the subject.

    But first off, as a quick response to your query. I would say that literature is nothing more than a recording of said knowledge. Its truth content is no more truthful than the author who wrote it.
  4. Nov 3, 2006 #3


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    Depends upon the area. Ursula K. LeGuin, in a preface to her science fiction novel "The Left Hand of Darkness" wrote "It is an artist's job to say that which cannot be said in words. A novelist is an artist whose medium is words. That is, it is a novelist's job to say, in words, that which cannot be said in words! To do this, we use a technique called 'the lie'."
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2006
  5. Nov 6, 2006 #4


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    If your school or local library offers access to JSTOR, there is a terrific paper on this written by Thomas Merrill called Milton's Satanic Parable about the use specifically of parable as a means of informing the attitude rather than the intellect. The use of myth and folklore, and even children's tales, has a long history of shaping the belief systems, and perhaps more importantly, the ethics and ideal behavior of persons socialized into a given culture where that myth or tale originates. The article uses Paradise Lost as a point of reference, but this notion of certain literature as parabolic language can be applied generally.
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