Literature as a mode of representing reality: Fiction, truth, and moral philosophy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article raises problems for Martha Nussbaum’s account of the relevance of literary fiction for moral thought and moral philosophy, relating to the issue of how literary fiction, given its fictional character, can express truths about the actual world, and how it can be used to articulate and/or lend support to general philosophical views. A related problem concerns the way in which moral philosophical uses of literature, as Nussbaum conceives them, hide the point of view of the philosopher who employs literature for moral philosophical purposes. I argue that these problems can be solved by means of a Wittgensteinian account of the use of literature as a mode of representation that is compared with actual reality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-21
Number of pages9
JournalErmeneutica Letteraria-Rivista Internazionale
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Literary Fiction
  • Ethics
  • Truth
  • Nussbaum
  • Wittgenstein

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