Event type
PhD Seminars
Prof. Catharine Abell (Oxford)
Thursday 21st May 2020 - Friday 27th March 2020
Dep. of Philosophy UB, May 21-22, 25-27, 11:00-13:00
Seminari Ramón Llull, Dep. of Philosophy UB

In this course, we will discuss Fiction: A Philosophical Analysis (Catharine Abell, OUP 2020). The aim of this book is to provide a unified solution to a wide range of philosophical problems raised by fiction. While some of these problems have been the focus of extensive philosophical debate, others have received insufficient attention. In particular, the epistemology of fiction has not yet attracted the philosophical scrutiny it warrants. There has been considerable discussion of what determines the contents of works of fiction, but there have been few attempts to explain how audiences identify their contents, or to identify the norms governing the correct understanding and interpretation of works of fiction.

This book answers a wide range of both metaphysical and epistemological questions concerning fiction in a way that clarifies the relations between them. The metaphysical questions include: What distinguishes works of fiction from works of non-fiction?; What is the nature of fictive utterances?; What determines the contents of works of fiction?; What kinds of fictive content are there?; How broad in scope is fictive content?; and What kinds of things are fictional entities? The epistemological questions include: How do audiences identify the contents of authors’ fictive utterances?; How does understanding a work of fiction differ from interpreting it?; and What role does thinking and talking about fiction from an external perspective play in enabling communication through fiction? It develops the first single theory that provides answers to all these questions.