Literature Can literature "tell the truth" better than other Arts or Areas of Knowledge? Response from Peter S. Fosl on January 5, 2007: It's an interesting question. I note that you don't ask whether literature can "establish" the truth, or "discover" the truth, or "distinguish" the truth. It's also interesting that you ask about "truth" and not "knowledge" or "wisdom"--though you do seem to suggest that literature is one among a number of other areas of "knowledge." And what of "tell"? What does it mean exactly to "tell" a truth? And what of "better"? What can it mean to "tell better" or "tell worse"? Of course, one question I'd have at the outset would be what you consider literature to be. I take it that you mean fiction and poetry. But of course some also would speak of biography, journalistic writing, history, film, song, and what has become known as "creative non-fiction" as literature, too. Philosophers like Stanley Cavell have explored the question of whether or not philosophy might be read as a kind of literature, whether it might even come to regard itself as literature. So far as it goes, I am inclined to say that... Read more about Can literature "tell the truth" better than other Arts or Areas of Knowledge?