Observers and Narrators in Fiction Film

Croatian Journal of Philosophy 22 (65):201-215 (2022)
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Abstract

In the debate on our engagement with and appreciation of fiction films, the thesis that the viewer of a fiction film imagines observing fictional events, and the thesis that these events are imagined to be presented by a narrator, are usually taken as two components of one theoretical package, which philosophers such as George Wilson and Jerrold Levison defend, while philosophers such as Gregory Currie and Berys Gaut reject. This paper argues that the two theses can be disentangled and investigates their logical connection. The investigation shows that the second thesis entails the first but there is no entailment the other way around. Endorsing the first thesis is thus compatible with two options, namely endorsing the second thesis or abandoning it. However, the paper argues that if we endorse the first thesis, endorsing the second provides us with a more compelling explanation of our engagement with and appreciation of fiction films.

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Enrico Terrone
Università degli Studi di Genova

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