The triple enigma: Fact, truth, and myth as the key to C.S. Lewis's epistemological thinking. Starr, Charlie en_US
dc.contributor.department English en_US 2014-06-20T17:51:33Z 2014-06-20T17:51:33Z 2002 en_US
dc.description Adviser: Theodore J. Sherman. en_US
dc.description.abstract C. S. Lewis's complex epistemology has drawn much critical interest. Unfortunately, Lewis never produced a definitive epistemological essay or book; rather, his thoughts on how we know are scattered throughout his writings. The result is critical confusion about such key issues as Lewis's definition of myth, his view of reality, and whether or not he believed the imagination to be a truth-bearing faculty. A sentence in Perelandra provides the framework for this systematic study of Lewis's epistemology: "Lang since on Mars, and more strongly since he came to Perelandra, Ransom had been perceiving that the triple distinction of truth from myth and of both from fact was purely terrestrial---was part and parcel of that unhappy division between soul and body which resulted from the Fall" (143--44, emphasis added). This dissertation investigates this "triple distinction" and examines Lewis's use of "truth," "myth," "fact," and related words throughout his works. en_US
dc.description.abstract Lewis views "reality" as "sacramental" and multi-leveled. God is the independent, uncreated "Fact," and all created reality/fact depends entirely on Him. "Truth" is defined contextually according to this hierarchy of being: In the higher reality of heaven, truth is reality; in the lower reality of earth, truth is an abstraction corresponding to reality. "Myth" in heaven is "What Really Is," the "I Am," palpably real and utterly factual. On earth, "myth" reveals a glimpse of heavenly reality perceived in imaginative form. At Christ's Incarnation, heavenly myth became earthly fact. Working together, reason and imagination can apprehend a clear and true vision of reality (heavenly and earthly). en_US
dc.description.abstract The introductory chapter reviews Lewis criticism; chapter two investigates Lewis's view of "fact" and "reality"; chapter three examines Lewis's view of "truth"; chapter four analyzes "myth" and "mythopoeisis"; chapter five considers "reason" and "imagination"; and chapter six synthesizes the study into a Lewisian epistemology. en_US D.A. en_US
dc.publisher Middle Tennessee State University en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Christianity and literature en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Lewis, C. S (Clive Staples), 1898-1963 en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Literature, English en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Philosophy en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Theology en_US
dc.thesis.degreegrantor Middle Tennessee State University en_US
dc.thesis.degreelevel Doctoral en_US
dc.title The triple enigma: Fact, truth, and myth as the key to C.S. Lewis's epistemological thinking. en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US
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