JUKKA MIKKONEN[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: During the last decades, there has been a debate on the question whether literary works are utterances, or have utterance meaning, and whether it is reasonable to approach them as such. Proponents of the utterance model in literary interpretation, whom I will refer to as “utterance theorists”, such as Noël Carroll and especially Robert Stecker, suggest that because of their nature as linguistic products of intentional human action, literary works are utterances similar to those used in everyday discourse. Conversely, those whom I will refer to as “appreciation theorists”, such as Stein Haugom Olsen and Peter Lamarque, argue that literary works are by no means comparable to conversational utterances, and treating them in terms of utterances mistakenly dismisses their literary features. The aim of this article is twofold: to defend a central aspect of the utterance theory and to reconcile the two main positions about central issues in the debate on the meaning of literary works. On the one hand, I shall argue that it is both legitimate and reasonable to discuss the utterance meaning of a literary work on the basis of an interpretative approach interested in the author's “message”. My aim is to show that literary works should be considered utterances in a conversational approach which aims at examining the illocutionary actions conveyed through the work. On the other hand, I attempt both to show that there are various legitimate interpretative approaches which are governed by the interpreter's purposes, and to suggest that the debate between utterance theorists and appreciation theorists is actually about merely different emphases.Theoria. 01/2010; 76(1):68 - 90.
Article: The Realistic Fallacy, or: The Conception of Literary Narrative Fiction in Analytic AestheticsMikkonen Jukka[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In this paper, my aim is to show that in Anglo-American analytic aesthetics, the conception of narrative fiction is in general realistic and that it derives from philosophical theories of fiction-making, the act of producing works of literary narrative fiction. I shall firstly broadly show the origins of the problem and illustrate how the so-called realistic fallacy – the view which maintains that fictions consist of propositions which represent the fictional world “as it is” – is committed through the history of philosophical approaches to literature in the analytic tradition. Secondly, I shall show how the fallacy that derives from the 20th Century philosophy of language manifests itself in contemporary analytic aesthetics, using Peter Lamarque and Stein Haugom Olsen’s influential and well-known Gricean make-believe theory of fiction as an example. Finally, I shall sketch how the prevailing Gricean make-believe theories should be modified in order to reach the literary-fictive use of language and to cover fictions broader than Doyle’s stories and works alike.Studia Philosophica Estonica. 01/2009;
JUKKA MIKKONENJournal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 10/2008; 66(4):403 - 406.
Jukka Mikkonen[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: A review of David Davies's Aesthetics and Literature (London & New York: Continuum, 2007, 212 pp. ISBN 0826496121)
Article: On the Body of Literary PersuasionJukka Mikkonen[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In this paper, the author argues that literary works have distinct cognitive significance in changing their readers’ beliefs. In particular, he discusses ‘philosophical fictions’ and truthclaims that they may imply. Basing himself broadly on Aristotle’s view of the enthymeme, he argues that a work of literary fiction persuades readers of its truths by its dramatic structure, by illustrating or implying the suppressed conclusion (or other parts missing in the argument). Further, he suggests that it is exactly this ‘literary persuasion’ which distinguishes literary works from merely didactic works prone to overt ‘argumentation’ and instruction.