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Fiction for Five Fingers

From: Philosophy and Literature
Volume 6, Numbers 1 and 2, Fall 1982
pp. 162-164 | 10.1353/phl.1982.0009

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Fiction for Five Fingers
Nelson Goodman
Harvard University


1. Ways of Worldmaking (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1978), pp. 57-70, esp. pp. 67-68.

2. See my Languages of Art, 2nd ed. (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1965), pp. 68-71.

3. See Nelson Goodman, "The Telling and the Told," Critical Inquiry 7 (1981): 799-801, and "Realism, Relativism, and Reality," forthcoming in New Literary History.

4. Cf. Ways of Worldmaking, pp. 102-105.

5. Ibid., pp. 1-7.


Editors' note: "So powerful is the instinct for unity in mankind that the author himself will often bring something to a kind of completion which simply can't be made a whole . . . often quite imaginatively and yet completely unnaturally" (Friedrich Schlegel, Crit. Frag. 103). Schlegel is, if anything, enthusiastic and extreme. Put more modestly, many a significant idea may be interesting and valuable in its limited scope (as a fragment) but thin, tedious, even obscured or lost when stretched out to support a standard-length journal article. Hence this new section of PHILOSOPHY AND LITERATURE, which, in addition to providing space for traditional discussion between authors and readers, seeks to encourage some new forms of philosophical reflection — short developments of an idea, commentary on a single episode or scene, sets of theses, even programs and manifestoes, all of which, from the perspective of the article or essay, are but philosophical notes and fragments.


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