Learning from fiction and theories of fictional content

Stock, Kathleen (2016) Learning from fiction and theories of fictional content. Teorema, XXXV (3). pp. 69-83. ISSN 0210-1602

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Abstract

I present a dilemma for defenders of two theories of fictional content: Hypothetical Intentionalism and Value-Maximising Theory. The dilemma concerns the presence of testimony in passages of fiction, and the fact that the very same passage might serve both to produce justified beliefs in a reader and as a source of fictional content. On the first horn of the dilemma, these theories reject the author’s actual intentions as the source of the content of the testimony: in which case they cannot accommodate the potential function of the passage to produce justified beliefs in readers. On the second, they accept the author’s actual intentions as the source of this content: in which case they cannot accommodate the reader’s experience of interpreting testimony-in-fiction in a way which is continuous with the experience of interpreting fictive utterance, according to their own views. Since Actual Intentionalism escapes this dilemma it should be preferred.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Fiction, Fictional content, Interpretation, Hypothetical intentionalism, Value-maximising theory, Actual intentionalism, Testimony
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > Philosophy
Depositing User: Kathleen Stock
Date Deposited: 10 May 2016 09:58
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2017 05:41
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/60846

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