The Trouble with Poetic Licence

British Journal of Aesthetics 56 (2):149-161 (2016)
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It is commonly thought that authors can make anything whatsoever true in their fictions by artistic fiat. Harry Deutsch originally called this position the Principle of Poetic License. If true, PPL sets an important constraint on accounts of fictional truth: they must be such as to allow that, for any x, one can write a story in which it is true that x. I argue that PPL is far too strong: it requires us to abandon the law of non-contradiction and entails a radical revision of otherwise ordinary commitments about truth in fiction.



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Michel-Antoine Xhignesse
Capilano University

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References found in this work

Truth in fiction.David K. Lewis - 1978 - American Philosophical Quarterly 15 (1):37–46.
The puzzle of imaginative resistance.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (2):55-81.
Morals in Fiction and Fictional Morality (I).Kendall Lewis Walton - 2015 [1994] - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 68:27-50.

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