Verisimilitude tends to be based around the appearance or proximity to being real, or the truth. It was a large part of the work of Karl Popper, and can be used in a variety of different ways to describe something, as well. It is a way of implying the believability or likelihood of a theory or narrative. However, just because something can be described as having Verisimilitude does not mean that it is true, only that merely appears to or seems to be true.

It can be used in a variety of ways, for example;

“While some dislike the content of the novel due to its graphic nature, you cannot deny that the content certainly gives the book some Verisimilitude”

An example of Verisimilitude in concept, though, could be a doubtful statement in a court of law or even a false testimonial for a restaurant. If something “seems” like it’s all well and good, but you can’t quite decide, then it can be said to have Verisimilitude.

4 thoughts on “Verisimilitude”

  1. Does verisimilitude imply that this appearance of truth is not actually true or deceiving in some way? Or is simply the appearance of truth?

  2. John 11:49,50 in the New Testament says, “But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” This is interpreted by many readers to be the high priest’s unintentional explanation of the real purpose of Jesus of Nazareth’s death.

  3. Verisimilitude

    Appearances contrasting with reality

    For example,

    In Shakespeare’s play, Othello,

    When the antagonist Iago says “I am not what I am” this demonstrates how, through verisimilitude, (his appearance, the way he will act, manipulate, contrasting with the truth) that Iago is a Machiavellian character (will do whatever it takes to succeed; has no moral conscience, only ambition and revenge).

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