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AbstractThe goal of the paper is to reconsider two incompatible stances on a possible cognitive gain from belles-lettres stories. Cognitivism is based on the fundamental state that a value of work of art is proportional to the degree of knowledge it brings. It is presupposed that a reader's mental state before reading such stories is, in a way, poorer then thereafter. What kind of properties does such cognitive gain have? Is it a moral piece of knowledge? Or is it a piece of knowledge at all? A role of truth is mentioned. Two pros et cons arguments – namely Graham's (argument about the cognitive value of the arts) and Stolnitz's ones (argument about cognitive triviality of art) – are briefly examined. In the last part, a natural view of a literary cognitive gain is offered.
1803-7445 (print); 2336-453X (online)