In works of literary fiction, it is a part of the fiction that the words of the text are being recounted by some work-internal 'voice': the literary narrator. One can ask similarly whether the story in movies is told in sights and sounds by a work-internal subjectivity that orchestrates them: a cinematic narrator. George M. Wilson argues that movies do involve a fictional recounting (an audio-visual narration ) in terms of the movie's sound and image track. Viewers are (...) usually prompted to imagine seeing the items and events in the movie's fictional world and to imagine hearing the associated fictional sounds. However, it is much less clear that the cinematic narration must be imagined as the product of some kind of 'narrator' - of a work-internal agent of the narration. Wilson goes on to examine the further question whether viewers imagine seeing the fictional world face-to-face or whether they imagine seeing it through some kind of work-internal mediation . It is a key contention of this book that only the second of these alternatives allows one to give a coherent account of what we do and do not imagine about what we are seeing on the screen. Having provided a partial account of the foundations of film narration, the final chapters explore the ways in which certain complex strategies of cinematic narration are executed in three exemplary films: David Fincher's Fight Club , von Sternberg's The Scarlet Empress , and the Coen brothers' The Man Who Wasn't There. (shrink)
In, Kosterec attempts to provide ``model-theoretic proofs'' of certain theses involving the normal modal operators $\Diamond$ and $\square$ and the truth-in-fiction operator $F$ which he then goes on to show have counterexamples in Kripke models. He concludes from this that the embedding of modal logic under the truth-in-fiction operator is unsound. We show instead that it is the ``model-theoretic proofs'' that are themselves unsound, involving illicit substitution, a subtle error that nevertheless allows us to draw an important conclusion (...) about intensional contexts and semantic equivalences. (shrink)
This challenging study places fiction squarely at the centre of the discussion of metaphysics. Philosophers have traditionally treated fiction as involving a set of narrow problems in logic or the philosophy of language. By contrast Amie Thomasson argues that fiction has far-reaching implications for central problems of metaphysics. The book develops an 'artifactual' theory of fiction, whereby fictional characters are abstract artifacts as ordinary as laws or symphonies or works of literature. By understanding fictional characters we (...) come to understand how other cultural and social objects are established on the basis of the independent physical world and the mental states of human beings. (shrink)
The aim of this book is to provide a unified solution to a wide range of philosophical problems raised by fiction. While some of these problems have been the focus of extensive philosophical debate, others have received insufficient attention. In particular, the epistemology of fiction has not yet attracted the philosophical scrutiny it warrants. There has been considerable discussion of what determines the contents of works of fiction, but there have been few attempts to explain how audiences (...) identify their contents, or to identify the norms governing the correct understanding and interpretation of works of fiction. -/- This book answers a wide range of both metaphysical and epistemological questions concerning fiction in a way that clarifies the relations between them. The metaphysical questions include: What distinguishes works of fiction from works of non-fiction?; What is the nature of fictive utterances?; What determines the contents of works of fiction?; What kinds of fictive content are there?; How broad in scope is fictive content?; and What kinds of things are fictional entities? The epistemological questions include: How do audiences identify the contents of authors’ fictive utterances?; How does understanding a work of fiction differ from interpreting it?; and What role does thinking and talking about fiction from an external perspective play in enabling communication through fiction? It develops the first single theory that provides answers to all these questions. (shrink)
Pamela: “… but, I hope I shall copy your Example, and that of Joseph, my Name’s-sake; and maintain my Virtue against all Temptations.” Joseph, these are such kind words. I hope you were not being sarcastic.
This book examines what, if anything, makes a depiction of fictional immorality—such as the murder, torture, or sexual assault of a fictional character—an example of immoral fiction, and therefore something that should be morally criticized and possibly prohibited.
Impossible fictions are valuable evidence both for a theory of fiction and for theories of meaning, mind and epistemology. This article focuses on what we can learn about fiction from reflecting on impossible fictions. First, different kinds of impossible fiction are considered, and the question of how much fiction is impossible is addressed. What impossible fiction contributes to our understanding of "truth in fiction" and the logic of fiction will be examined. Finally, our (...) understanding of unreliable narrators and unreliable narration in fiction needs to accommodate stories that, on the face of it, cannot possibly be true. (shrink)
A fictional text is commonly viewed as constituting an invitation to play a certain game of make-believe, with the individual sentences written by the author providing the propositions we are to imagine and/or accept as true within the fiction. However, we can’t always take the text at face value. What narratologists call ‘unreliable narrators’ may present a confused or misleading picture of the fictional world. Meanwhile there has been a debate in philosophy about so-called ‘imaginative resistance’ in which we (...) are inclined to resist imagining (or even accepting as true in the fiction) what’s explicitly stated in the text. But if we can’t take the text’s word for it, how do we determine what’s true in a fiction? We propose an account of fiction interpretation in a dynamic setting (a version of DRT with a mechanism for opening, updating, and closing temporary ‘workspaces’) and combine this framework with belief revision logic. With these tools in hand we turn to modelling imaginative resistance and unreliable narrators. (shrink)
Despite widespread evidence that fictional models play an explanatory role in science, resistance remains to the idea that fictions can explain. A central source of this resistance is a particular view about what explanations are, namely, the ontic conception of explanation. According to the ontic conception, explanations just are the concrete entities in the world. I argue this conception is ultimately incoherent and that even a weaker version of the ontic conception fails. Fictional models can succeed in offering genuine explanations (...) by correctly capturing relevant patterns of counterfactual dependence and licensing correct inferences. Using the example of Newtonian force explanations of the tides, I show how, even in science, fiction can be a vehicle for truth. (shrink)
Authors have a lot of leeway with regard to what they can make true in their story. In general, if the author says that p is true in the fiction we’re reading, we believe that p is true in that fiction. And if we’re playing along with the fictional game, we imagine that, along with everything else in the story, p is true. But there are exceptions to these general principles. Many authors, most notably Kendall Walton and Tamar (...) Szabó Gendler, have discussed apparent counterexamples when p is “morally deviant”. Many other statements that are conceptually impossible also seem to be counterexamples. In this paper I do four things. I survey the range of counterexamples, or at least putative counterexamples, to the principles. Then I look to explanations of the counterexamples. I argue, following Gendler, that the explanation cannot simply be that morally deviant claims are impossible. I argue that the distinctive attitudes we have towards moral propositions cannot explain the counterexamples, since some of the examples don’t involve moral concepts. And I put forward a proposed explanation that turns on the role of ‘higher-level concepts’, concepts that if they are satisfied are satisfied in virtue of more fundamental facts about the world, in fiction, and in imagination. (shrink)
Fictional names pose a difficult puzzle for semantics. We can truthfully maintain that Frodo is a hobbit, while at the same time admitting that Frodo does not exist. To reconcile this paradox I propose a way to formalize the interpretation of fiction as ‘prescriptions to imagine’ (Walton 1990) within an asymmetric semantic framework in the style of Kamp (1990). In my proposal, fictional statements are analyzed as dynamic updates on an imagination component of the interpreter’s mental state, while plain (...) assertions are updates on a belief component. Proper names – regular, empty, or fictional – are uniformly analyzed as presupposition triggers. The possibility of different attitude components referentially depending on each other is what ultimately allows us to account for the central paradox mentioned above. (shrink)
If there are no fictional characters, how do we explain thought and discourse apparently about them? If there are, what are they like? A growing number of philosophers claim that fictional characters are abstract objects akin to novels or plots. They argue that postulating characters provides the most straightforward explanation of our literary practices as well as a uniform account of discourse and thought about fiction. Anti-realists counter that postulation is neither necessary nor straightforward, and that the invocation of (...) pretense provides a better account of the same phenomena. I outline and assess these competing theories. (shrink)
A good phenomenological theory must be able to account equally well for our experiences of veridical perception and hallucination, for our thoughts about universities, colors, numbers, mythical figures and more. For all of these are characteristic mental acts, and a theory of intentionality should be a theory of conscious acts in general, not just of consciousness of a specific kind of thing or of a specific kind of consciousness. In so far as phenomenology purports to be a general study of (...) intentional acts of consciousness, it must be able to account for acts with all kinds of objects and with all kinds of thetic character. Any limitation of these features puts the theory in danger of being an explanation of only some kinds of mental act, and of mis-characterizing the nature of intentionality in general. (shrink)
Do fictions depend upon imagination? Derek Matravers argues against the mainstream view that they do, and offers an original account of what it is to read, listen to, or watch a narrative. He downgrades the divide between fiction and non-fiction, largely dispenses with the imagination, and in doing so illuminates a succession of related issues.
My goal is to reflect on the phenomenon of inadvertent creation and argue that—various objections to the contrary—it doesn’t undermine the view that fictional characters are abstract artifacts. My starting point is a recent challenge by Jeffrey Goodman that is originally posed for those who hold that fictional characters and mythical objects alike are abstract artifacts. The challenge: if we think that astronomers like Le Verrier, in mistakenly hypothesizing the planet Vulcan, inadvertently created an abstract artifact, then the “inadvertent creation” (...) element turns out to be inescapable yet theoretically unattractive. Based on considerations about actually existing concrete objects featured in fictional works (as Napoleon is in Tolstoy’s War and Peace), I argue that independently of one’s stand on mythical objects, admitting fictional characters as abstract artifacts is enough to give rise to the challenge at hand; yet this very point serves to undermine the challenge, indicating that inadvertent creation is not nearly as worrisome as Goodman suggests. Indeed, the inadvertent creation phenomenon’s generality extends far beyond objects of fiction and myth, and I will use this observation to counter a further objection. Taking fictional characters (and mythical objects) to be abstract artifacts therefore remains a viable option. (shrink)
Science is popularly understood as being an ideal of impartial algorithmic objectivity that provides us with a realistic description of the world down to the last detail. The essays collected in this book—written by some of the leading experts in the field—challenge this popular image right at its heart, taking as their starting point that science trades not only in truth, but in fiction, too. With case studies that range from physics to economics and to biology, _Fictions in Science_ (...) reveals that fictions are as ubiquitous in scientific narratives and practice as they are in any other human endeavor, including literature and art. Of course scientific activity, most prominently in the formal sciences, employs logically precise algorithmic thinking. However, the key to the predictive and technological success of the empirical sciences might well lie elsewhere—perhaps even in scientists’ extraordinary creative imagination instead. As these essays demonstrate, within the bounds of what is empirically possible, a scientist’s capacity for invention and creative thinking matches that of any writer or artist. (shrink)
We offer an original argument for the existence of universal fictions—that is, fictions within which every possible proposition is true. Specifically, we detail a trio of such fictions, along with an easy-to-follow recipe for generating more. After exploring several consequences and dismissing some objections, we conclude that fiction, unlike reality, is unlimited when it comes to truth.
This book examines the complex and varied ways in which fictions relate to the real world, and offers a precise account of how imaginative works of literature can use fictional content to explore matters of universal human interest. While rejecting the traditional view that literature is important for the truths that it imparts, the authors also reject attempts to cut literature off altogether from real human concerns. Their detailed account of fictionality, mimesis, and cognitive value, founded on the methods of (...) analytical philosophy, restores to literature its distinctive status among cultural practices. The authors also explore metaphysical and skeptical views, prevalent in modern thought, according to which the world itself is a kind of fiction, and truth no more than a social construct. They identify different conceptions of fiction in science, logic, epistemology, and make-believe, and thereby challenge the idea that discourse per se is fictional and that different modes of discourse are at root indistinguishable. They offer rigorous analyses of the roles of narrative, imagination, metaphor, and "making" in human thought processes. Both in their methods and in their conclusions, Lamarque and Olsen aim to restore rigor and clarity to debates about the values of literature, and to provide new, philosophically sound foundations for a genuine change of direction in literary theorizing. (shrink)
Fictional Discourse: A Radical Fictionalist Semantics combines the insight of linguistic and philosophical semantics with the study of fictional language. Its central idea is familiar to anyone exposed to the ways of narrative fiction, namely the notion of a fictional teller. Starting with premises having to do with fictional names such as 'Holmes' or 'Emma', Stefano Predelli develops Radical Fictionalism, a theory that is subsequently applied to central themes in the analysis of fiction. Among other things, he discusses (...) the distinction between storyworlds and narrative peripheries, the relationships between homodiegetic and heterodiegetic narrative, narrative time, unreliability, and closure. The final chapters extend Radical Fictionalism to critical discourse, as Predelli introduces the ideas of critical and biased retelling, and pauses on the relationships between Radical Fictionalism and talk about literary characters. (shrink)
Problems concerning identity in possible worlds and the view that proper names are rigid designators pose no threat to the doctrine that names of fictional characters are referential. Some philosophers, notably Saul Kripke and David Kaplan, have held otherwise; but a close examination of their arguments discovers fatal flaws in them. Furthermore, the most readily available proposals for the alternative functions of fictional names — that is, proposals in which fictional names are not referential — are open to objections of (...) a principled kind. This raises serious doubts that any such alternative could work. (shrink)
Are fictional characters such as Sherlock Holmes real? What can fiction tell us about the nature of truth and reality? In this excellent introduction to the problem of fictionalism R. M. Sainsbury covers the following key topics: what is fiction? realism about fictional objects, including the arguments that fictional objects are real but non-existent; real but non-factual; real but non-concrete the relationship between fictional characters and non-actual worlds fictional entities as abstract artefacts fiction and intentionality and the (...) problem of irrealism fictionalism about possible worlds moral fictionalism. R. M. Sainsbury makes extensive use of examples from fiction, such as Sherlock Holmes, Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary and examines the work of philosophers who have made significant contributions to the topic, including Meinong, David Lewis, and Bas Van Fraassen. Additional features include chapter summaries, annotated further reading and a glossary of technical terms, making _Fiction and Fictionalism_ ideal for those coming to the issue for the first time. (shrink)
Can fictions make genuine assertions about the actual world? Proponents of the ‘Assertion View’ answer the question affirmatively: they hold that authors can assert, by means of explicit statements that are part of the work of fiction, that something is actually the case in the real world. The ‘Nonassertion’ View firmly denies this possibility. In this paper, I defend a nuanced version of the Nonassertion View. I argue that even if fictions cannot assert, they can indirectly communicate that what (...) is recounted as fictional is actually true. I show that this view is supported by independent linguistic data, and that it is able to defuse the objections that are typically raised against the Nonassertion View. I conclude by showing that this position has some interesting implications for testimonial cognitivism about fiction. (shrink)
In this paper I confront what I take to be the crucial challenge for fictional realism, i.e. the view that fictional characters exist. This is the problem of accounting for the intuition that corresponding negative existentials such as ‘Sherlock Holmes does not exist’ are true (when, given fictional realism, taken literally they seem false). I advance a novel and detailed form of the response according to which we take them to mean variants of such claims as: there is no concrete (...) x such that x is Sherlock Holmes. (shrink)
It is widely believed, among philosophers of literature, that imagining contradictions is as easy as telling or reading a story with contradictory content. Italo Calvino’s The Nonexistent Knight, for instance, concerns a knight who performs many brave deeds, but who does not exist. Anything at all, they argue, can be true in a story, including contradictions and other impossibilia. While most will readily concede that we cannot objectually imagine contradictions, they nevertheless insist that we can propositionally imagine them, and regularly (...) do, simply by entertaining a text which prompts us to do so. I argue that this narrative does not bear scrutiny for two main reasons. First, because propositional imagining is beside the point, where truth in fiction is concerned; evaluating truth in fiction engages the cognitive architecture in ways that prohibit the mobilization of merely propositional imagination to that end. And second, because it is not obvious, given the strategies usually suggested, that we ever propositionally imagine contradictions in the first place—in fact, it seems we go out of our way to avoid directly imagining them. (shrink)
Standard theories define fiction in terms of an invited response of imagining or make-believe. I argue that these theories are not only subject to numerous counterexamples, they also fail to explain why classification matters to our understanding and evaluation of works of fiction as well as non-fiction. I propose instead that we construe fiction and non-fiction as genres: categories whose membership is determined by a cluster of nonessential criteria, and which play a role in the (...) appreciation of particular works. I claim that this proposal captures the intuitions motivating alternative theories of fiction. (shrink)
In recent work, Walton has abandoned his very influential account of the fictionality of p in a fictional work in terms of prescriptions to imagine emanating from it. He offers examples allegedly showing that a prescription to imagine p in a given work of fiction is not sufficient for the fictionality of p in that work. In this paper, both in support and further elaboration of a constitutive-norms speech-act variation on Walton’s account that I have defended previously, I critically (...) discuss his objections. In addition to answering his concerns and developing the account further, I provide additional abductive support for its explanatory virtues vis-à- institutional accounts like Walton’s, and Gricean speech-act proposals. (shrink)
One of the basic insights of the book is that there is a notion of non-relational linguistic representation which can fruitfully be employed in a systematic approach to literary fiction. This notion allows us to develop an improved understanding of the ontological nature of fictional entities. A related insight is that the customary distinction between extra-fictional and intra-fictional contexts has only a secondary theoretical importance. This distinction plays a central role in nearly all contemporary theories of literary fiction. (...) There is a tendency among researchers to take it as obvious that the contrast between these two types of contexts is crucial for understanding the boundary that divides fiction from non-fiction. Seen from the perspective of non-relational representation, the key question is rather how representational networks come into being and how consumers of literary texts can, and do, engage with these networks. As a whole, the book provides, for the first time, a comprehensive artefactualist account of the nature of fictional entities. (shrink)
The contrast between real and fictional characters in our thinking needs further elaboration. In this commentary on Eco’s look at the ontology of the semiotic object, I suggest that human semiotic construction entails constant modulation of the relationship between the states of the real and fictional characters in irreversible time. Literary characters are examples of crystallized fictions which function as semiotic anchors in the fluid construction — by the readers — of their understandings of the world. Literary characters are thus (...) fictions that are real in their functions — while the actual reality of meaningmaking consists of ever new fictions of fluid nature. Eco’s ontological look at the contrast of the semiotic object with perceptual objects in Alexius Meinong’s theorizing needs to be complemented by the semiotic subject. Cultural mythologies of human societies set the stage for such invention and maintenance of such dynamic unity of fictionally real and realistically fictional characters. (shrink)
Fictional characters are awkward creatures. They are described as being girls, detectives, and cats; as being famous, based on real people, and well developed, and as being paradigmatic examples of things that don’t exist. It’s not hard to see that there are tensions between these various descriptions—how can something that is a detective not exist?—and there is a range of views designed to make sense of the pre-theoretical data. Fictional realists hold that we should accept that fictional characters are part (...) of ‘the furniture of our world’. Others are fictional anti-realists, who hold instead that our world does not contain any such things. In this article, I deploy an independently motivated metaontology to defend a novel version of fictional anti-realism. On the view I develop and defend, the central task we face is that of explaining facts concerning fictional characters, where the relevant notion of explanation is distinctively metaphysical in character. Fictional anti-realism emerges as the plausible thesis that facts about fictional entities can be completely explained in terms of the existence and features of other things. (shrink)
I present and discuss a counterexample to Kendall Walton's necessary condition for fictionality that arises from considering serial fictions. I argue that although Walton has not in fact provided a necessary condition for fictionality, a more complex version of Walton's condition is immune from the counterexample.
In the first half of this book, I offer a theory of fictional content or, as it is sometimes known, ‘fictional truth’.The theory of fictional content I argue for is ‘extreme intentionalism’. The basic idea – very roughly, in ways which are made precise in the book - is that the fictional content of a particular text is equivalent to exactly what the author of the text intended the reader to imagine. The second half of the book is concerned with (...) showing how extreme intentionalism and the lessons learnt from it can illuminate cognate questions in the philosophy of fiction and imagination. For instance, I argue, my position helps us to explain how fiction can provide us with reliable testimony ; it helps explain the phenomenon of imaginative resistance ; and it fits with, and so supports, a persuasive theory of the nature of fiction itself. In my final chapter, I show how attending to intentionalist practices of interpreting fictional content can illuminate the nature of propositional imagining itself. (shrink)
It is advisable to treat some sorts of discourse about fiction with the aid of an intensional operator "in such-And-Such fiction...." the operator may appear either explicitly or tacitly. It may be analyzed in terms of similarity of worlds, As follows: "in the fiction f, A" means that a is true in those of the worlds where f is told as known fact rather than fiction that differ least from our world, Or from the belief worlds (...) of the community in which the fiction originated. (shrink)
In Mimesis as Make-Believe, Kendall Walton gave a pioneering account of the nature of fictionality, which holds that what it is for p to be fictional is for there to exist a prescription to imagine that p. But Walton has recently distanced himself from his original analysis and now holds that prescriptions to imagine are merely necessary conditions on fictionality. Many of the alleged counterexamples that have prompted Walton's retreat are drawn from the field of photography, and it is upon (...) these cases that I focus. I argue that once Walton's analysis is properly articulated, we can accommodate the apparent counterexamples by paying careful attention both to the general features of the photographic medium and the specific features of the photographs in question. (shrink)
Psychological studies on fictional persuasion demonstrate that being engaged with fiction systematically affects our beliefs about the real world, in ways that seem insensitive to the truth. This threatens to undermine the widely accepted view that beliefs are essentially regulated in ways that tend to ensure their truth, and may tempt various non-doxastic interpretations of the belief-seeming attitudes we form as a result of engaging with fiction. I evaluate this threat, and argue that it is benign. Even if (...) the relevant attitudes are best seen as genuine beliefs, as I think they often are, their lack of appropriate sensitivity to the truth does not undermine the essential tie between belief and truth. To this end, I shall consider what I take to be the three most plausible models of the cognitive mechanisms underlying fictional persuasion, and argue that on none of these models does fictional persuasion undermine the essential truth-tie. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to explore in a systematic way the rationality of emotions elicited when we engage with works of fiction. I first lay out the approach to the emotions on which my discussion is premised. Next, I concentrate on two facets of emotional rationality—the first pertains to the relation between emotions and the mental states on which they are based, the second to the relation between emotions and the judgements and behaviour they elicit. These observations (...) about emotional rationality are then applied to emotions elicited by works of fiction. After having distinguished several families of emotions, I concentrate on what I call blob-emotions and emotions-for. I argue that, given their nature as direct responses to a restricted range of stimuli, blob-emotions are not irrational. As regards emotions-for fictional entities, I emphasize that a subject’s rationality shows in the way her emotions-for respond to evidence. On this basis, I discard an influential reason to think that emotions-for fictional entities are irrational. Finally, I offer an argument to conclude that they are typically correct and rational. (shrink)
This important book provides a theory about the nature of fiction, and about the relation between the author, the reader and the fictional text. The approach is philosophical: that is to say, the author offers an account of key concepts such as fictional truth, fictional characters, and fiction itself. The book argues that the concept of fiction can be explained partly in terms of communicative intentions, partly in terms of a condition which excludes relations of counterfactual dependence (...) between the world and the text. This communicative model is then applied to the following problems: how can something be 'true in the story' without being explicitly stated in the text? In what ways does interpreting a fictional story depend upon grasping its author's intentions? Is there always a unique best interpretation of a fictional text? What is the correct semantics for fictional names? What is the nature of our emotional response to a fictional work? In answering these questions the author explores the complex interaction between author, reader, and text. This interaction requires the reader to construct a 'fictional author' - a character in the story whose personality, beliefs and emotional states must be interpreted if the reader is to grasp the meaning of the work. (shrink)
In this paper, we develop an analysis of unrealistic fiction that captures the everyday sense of ‘unrealistic’. On our view, unrealistic fictions are a species of inconsistent fictions, but fictions for which such inconsistency, given the supporting role we claim played by genre, needn’t be a critical defect. We first consider and reject an analysis of unrealistic fiction as fiction that depicts or describes unlikely events; we then develop our own account and make an initial statement of (...) it: unrealistic fictions are those that invite us to believe something false. We further develop this account and restate it in terms of the notion of “import-export inconsistency.” That is, unrealistic fictions invite us to import certain propositions true in the actual world then invite us to export propositions entailing the negation of those imported. Finally, we consider whether for fiction being unrealistic is always an aesthetic flaw. (shrink)
Conventional medical ethics and the law draw a bright line distinguishing the permitted practice of withdrawing life-sustaining treatment from the forbidden practice of active euthanasia by means of a lethal injection. When clinicians justifiably withdraw life-sustaining treatment, they allow patients to die but do not cause, intend, or have moral responsibility for, the patient's death. In contrast, physicians unjustifiably kill patients whenever they intentionally administer a lethal dose of medication. We argue that the differential moral assessment of these two practices (...) is based on a series of moral fictions – motivated false beliefs that erroneously characterize withdrawing life-sustaining treatment in order to bring accepted end-of-life practices in line with the prevailing moral norm that doctors must never kill patients. When these moral fictions are exposed, it becomes apparent that conventional medical ethics relating to end-of-life decisions is radically mistaken. (shrink)
We refine a line of feminist criticism of pornography that focuses on pornographic works' pernicious effects. A.W. Eaton argues that inegalitarian pornography should be criticized because it is responsible for its consumers’ adoption of inegalitarian attitudes toward sex in the same way that other fictions are responsible for changes in their consumers’ attitudes. We argue that her argument can be improved with the recognition that different fictions can have different modes of persuasion. This is true of film and television: a (...) satirical movie such as Dr. Strangelove does not morally educate in the same way as a realistic series such as The Wire. We argue that this is also true of pornography: inegalitarian depictions of sex are not invariably responsible for consumers' adoption of inegalitarian attitudes toward sex in reality. Given that pornographic works of different genres may harm in different ways, different feminist criticisms are appropriate for different genres of pornography. (shrink)
The problem of intersubjective identification arises from the difficulties of explaining how our thoughts and discourse about fictional characters can be directed towards the same (or different) characters given the assumption that there are no fictional entities. In this paper I aim to offer a solution in terms of participation in a practice of thinking and talking about the same thing, which is inspired by Sainsbury's name-using practices. I will critically discuss a similar idea that was put forward by Friend (...) in terms of participation in what Perry calls a notion-network. I will then argue in favor of Sainsbury's baptism-based approach against Perry's information-based approach and I will answer some recent objections that Friend put forward against the former. (shrink)