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Reviews251 dal discipleship) with which to analyze questions of influence in a theoretical way. All in all, it shall no doubt prove an important moment in deconstruction's descent. Miami University of OhioJane Marie Todd Making Believe: Philosophical Reflections on Fiction, by C. G. Prado; viii & 169 pp. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1984, $27.95. Professor Prado launches a spirited attack on what he calls the "cognitive pretender" conception in fiction. According to that conception, fictional language is special and peculiar because it "fails to refer." His proposal is to undercut the cognitive pretender view by rejecting the assumption that the referential theory of meaning can provide a standard against which fictional discourse must be measured. In doing so he leans on recent work of Richard Rorty, who has questioned the dominant theory of truth as copying an extralinguistic "reality." Fictional sentences can be seen as aberrational only against the background of such an epistemological theory. But if Rorty is right in questioning the notion of knowledge as "correspondence" to extralinguistic "objects," the cognitive pretender theory of fiction is likewise questionable. We can replace it by something more plausible, claims Prado, if we take our clue from the theory of creative interpretation set out by Peter Jones. This theory, which Prado uses as his counterpoint to the cognitive pretender conception , "relocates the import that may be assigned to a novel or story in the readers' interpretations" (p. 18). Such relocation is possible because of the pervasive and fundamental nature of narrative, which underlies the factual/fictional distinction. Prado's original contribution lies in enriching Rorty's pragmatism by extending it to fictional discourse. Such a discourse is natural to us because to organize experience narrationally is a fundamental human disposition. "We are natural story-tellers long before we are Aristotelian rational beings" (p. 136). Narratives are not mere sequences but must have a certain integrity and progressiveness, in which various components "take responsibility" for one another. They exhibit continuity and selectivity, while they enlist imagination which, in Edward Casey's characterization, supplements and complements sentience. Furthermore , narratives call for action, even though the particular responses may be diffuse. Like Rorty, Prado puts the emphasis not on finding out but on making. Making believe is a type of productive vocabulary. Narratives are not sophisticated vehicles for cognitive content but rather tools of "world making," which require 252Philosophy and Literature convention and talent but also call for courage to engage in an interpretation of experience that can be a source of delight. Prado's illuminating and provocative analysis of fictional discourse reinforces the conclusion that the notions of knowledge and truth also have a normative dimension; they can tell us not only what is the case but also "how one ought to behave." Interestingly enough, this last phrase is neutral with regard to the distinction which, following Sparshott, Prado is prepared to accept, namely, the distinction between the ethical and the moral. "The ethical has to do with how one should live in order to flourish and to behave in the best possible ways. Against this, the moral has to do with living according to the code of one's community and culture" (p. 67). But what if the two objectives appear to be in conflict ? Prado seems to follow Rorty in suggesting that in cases like this we just follow "the norms of the day." But this is unnecessarily restrictive. An individual may sometimes see beyond the norms of his day, and he may express what he sees in fictional language. Prado reminds us that creative intelligence is intrinsically evaluative and that we interpret as we read. It is no less true, I would add, that we do so as we write. Writing, reading, and understanding fiction are important because they have to do "with value and the creation of value" (p. 146). If productiveness is a feature of all narratives, a fictional product may sometimes put the norms of our culture in a new perspective. Rice UniversityKonstantin Kolenda Arnold and God, by Ruth apRoberts; xi & 299 pp. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983, $26.50. Matthew Arnold is best known for his verse, his literary criticism, and his social commentary; however, he...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 251-252
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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