On Novels as Arguments

Gilbert Plumer


If novels can be arguments, that fact should shape logic or argumentation studies as well as literary studies. Two senses the term ‘narrative argument’ might have are (a) a story that offers an argument, or (b) a distinctive argument form. I consider whether there is a principled way of extracting a novel’s argument in sense (a). Regarding the possibility of (b), Hunt’s view is evaluated that many fables and much fabulist literature inherently, and as wholes, have an analogical argument structure. I argue that a better account is that some novels inherently exhibit a transcendental argument structure.


analogical argument; ethical criticism; Walter Fisher; narrative argument; novels; Martha Nussbaum; transcendental argument; truth in fiction

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22329/il.v35i4.4333

ISSN: 0824-2577