Fiction: A Philosophical Analysis

ISBN : 9780198831525

Catharine Abell
208 Pages
153 x 234 mm
Pub date
Jun 2020
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By taking a distinctively institutional approach, Catharine Abell provides a unified solution to a wide range of philosophical problems raised by fiction. In particular, she draws attention to the epistemology of fiction, which has not yet attracted the philosophical scrutiny it warrants. There has been considerable discussion of what determines the contents of works of fiction, yet few attempts have been made to explain how audiences identify their contents, or to identify the norms governing the correct understanding and interpretation of them. This book answers both metaphysical and epistemological questions concerning fiction in a way that clarifies the relation between them: What distinguishes works of fiction from works of non-fiction? What is the nature of fictive utterances? How do audiences identify the contents of authors' fictive utterances? How does understanding a work of fiction differ from interpreting it? This book develops the first single theory to provide answers to these questions and many more.


1 Introduction
2 The Institution of Fiction
3 Fictive Utterances
4 The Structure of Fictive Content
5 Fictional Entities
6 External Thought and Talk About Fiction

About the author: 

Catharine Abell is Professor of Philosophy of Art at the University of Oxford. Her research addresses issues at the intersection of the philosophy of art, philosophy of language, and philosophy of mind.

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