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ABSTRACT

Recent attention to the relationship between aesthetic value and cognitive value has focused on whether the latter can affect the former. In this article, I approach the issue from the opposite direction. I investigate whether the aesthetic value of a work can influence its cognitive value. More narrowly, I consider whether a work's aesthetic value ever contributes to or detracts from its philosophical value, which I take to include the truth of its claims, the strength of its arguments, and its internal consistency. I argue that aesthetic value does have such an impact, at least sometimes and to some degree. The aesthetic merits of some works help to preserve their consistency, and the aesthetic defects of other works render them self-contradictory.