Philosophy-Literature colloquium: Derek Matravers

Title: Representations and Face-to-Face Encounters – Why They Matter for the Philosophy of Fiction

By Derek Matravers (Philosophy, Open University/ Cambridge University)

Date: Thursday, May 9, 2024

Time: 1730-1900 

Room: H232

Abstract: This paper will argue that philosophers working on fiction have paid insufficient attention to the distinction between representations and face-to-face encounters. This paper will sketch the relevant differences. There are three sets of implications all of which undermine the relevance of the fiction/non-fiction distinction within representations. First, the ‘standard’ problems in the philosophy of fiction are simply part of these differences. Second, an account of what it is to engage with a representation pays no attention to the fiction/non-fiction distinction – nor, rather surprisingly, to the imagination. Third, the booksellers’ distinction between fiction and non-fiction can still be made, and the true/false distinction is left untouched.

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Co-organized with the Department of English Language and Literature





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