“But Is It Science Fiction?”: Science Fiction and a Theory of Genre

Midwest Studies in Philosophy 39 (1):1-28 (2015)
Authors
Simon Evnine
University of Miami
Abstract
If science fiction is a genre, then attempts to think about the nature of science fiction will be affected by one’s understanding of what genres are. I shall examine two approaches to genre, one dominant but inadequate, the other better, but only occasionally making itself seen. I shall then discuss several important, interrelated issues, focusing particularly on science fiction : what it is for a work to belong to a genre, the semantics of genre names, the validity of attempts to define genres, and the connections between genre and normativity. One important but neglected clue to the nature of genres lies in the kinds of disagreements they generate over the assignment of works to genres. I conclude by explaining why these disagreements tell us something about the nature of genres, and discussing in some detail two famous cases of disagreement about whether some work or works are science fiction
Keywords genre  science fiction  W.B. Gallie  Margaret Atwood  Pamela Zoline  social ontology  tradition  classification
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DOI 10.1111/misp.12037
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References found in this work BETA

Categories of Art.Kendall L. Walton - 1970 - Philosophical Review 79 (3):334-367.
Fiction as a Genre.Stacie Friend - 2012 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 112 (2pt2):179--209.
II—Genre, Interpretation and Evaluation.Catharine Abell - 2015 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 115 (1pt1):25-40.
W.B. Gallie and Essentially Contested Concepts.David-Hillel Ruben - 2010 - Philosophical Papers 39 (2):257-270.
Arts and Minds.Gregory Currie - 2004 - Oxford University Press.

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