It has been said that authors who write in order to give pleasure cannot impart to their readers the truth of their s...

AndrewArabie on March 13, 2023

Negative hypotheticals

I generally have trouble with arguments that argue against something. Especially when they throw in hypotheticals. I have no idea what this author is trying to establish with the hypothetical. I don't even know what the hypothetical is saying. Can someone break this question down for me?

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AndrewArabie on March 13, 2023

My general approach to stimuli that disagree with a point of view is just to reword it positively. I can do that for the first half but I'm just completely lost on the latter half. Is there a general approach anyone recommends for these types of questions?

Emil-Kunkin on March 18, 2023

Ah yes this question is always a doozy. I'll try to break it down with how I would put this in my own words. However, when it comes to a general approach I'm not sure if I'd have too much to offer other than working to understand what the conclusion is, and then telling yourself the story of why the author thinks the premises support that conclusion.

In this case, it seems that the author is arguing the following: writers who write to give pleasure can indeed impart truth. In other words, it is possible for a writer to write aesthetically pleasing works that are deeply true.

The reasoning for this is that if pleasing and true works were mutually exclusive, sales figures would mirror truthfulness, (Which the author clearly thinks isn't true, but didn't explicitly state) and that popular books could not be true.

Emil-Kunkin on March 18, 2023

I would then attack the argument on the grounds that the author did not actually state that it is wrong to think that you could tell the truth of a book by looking at sales. While C comes from a different direction, it states a different issue, that a book that readers derive please from is not necessarily one that was written to give pleasure.