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(2018) Truth in fiction, Dordrecht, Springer.

Salty tears and racing hearts

John Woods

pp. 133-151

Philosophical theories of fiction pivot on relational considerations. Semantic theorists are interested in semantic relations. Do we refer to fictional beings and events? Do fictional sentences relate to things in ways that assign them truth values? Do fictional sentences stand in inferential relations? Do we ourselves bear relations to these sentences in ways that qualify as knowledge and belief? Philosophers of art also have a stake in the relational. What is the relation between a painting and what it represents? What is its relation, if any, to the intentions of the artist? In what affective, and other psychological relations do we stand, not only to the fictional, but also to the dead of Guernica and Nicholai Ge's Crucifixion. Philosophers of language tend to privilege semantic relations and deal with psychological ones in a more derivative way if at all, whereas many aestheticians tend to emphasize the affective over the semantic. The distinction between semantic and affective relations has been intendedly smudged since the opening pages of this book. Its procedural rules subject its semantic and alethic assertions to close reckonings with lived readerly and writerly experience, and with fiction's powers of engagement. The book's attachment to the causal response model of knowledge deepens its tie to the psychological. Its insistence that a logic won't work for fiction except in collaboration with cognitive psychology, carried with it no presumption of a metaphysically sharp divide between the cognitive and the affective.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-72658-8_7

Full citation:

Woods, J. (2018). Salty tears and racing hearts, in Truth in fiction, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 133-151.

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