The Concrete Universal in Literature

James Chastek at Just Thomism writes on the concrete universals we find in literature [poetry as Aristotle would say].

There is a real likeness to the sort of perfection of knowledge that is most manifest in the experiment. Just as we can get an insight into all forces by seeing a pulley under the right cognitive conditions and get an insight into the whole universe by seeing an apple fall, so too we get an insight into all totalitarianisms by reading Orwell’s or Kafka’s characters, or an insight into all infidelity by reading Anna Karenina. It’s no objection to point out that reading Animal Farm gives only a fallible knowledge of totalitarianism that might need revision – the same can be said of seeing the pulley.