Stacie Friend (Birkbeck): The Real Foundation of Fictional Worlds
|Starts:||15:00 16 Feb 2016|
|Ends:||17:00 16 Feb 2016|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||School of Social Sciences|
|Who is it for:||University staff, Adults, Current University students|
Abstract: I argue that judgements of what is ‘true in a fiction’ presuppose the Reality Assumption: the assumption that everything that is (really) true is also fictionally the case, unless excluded by the work. By contrast with the more familiar Reality Principle, the Reality Assumption is not a rule or ‘principle of generation’ for inferring implied content from what is explicit in a text. Instead it provides an array of real-world truths that can be used in making such inferences. I claim that the Reality Assumption is essential to our ability to understand stories, drawing on a range of empirical evidence. However, the Reality Assumption has several unintuitive consequences, not least that what is fictionally the case includes countless facts that neither authors nor readers could (or should) ever consider. I argue that such consequences provide no reason to reject the Reality Assumption.
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