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Fiction and Narrative$
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Derek Matravers

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199647019

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199647019.001.0001

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Engaging with Narratives

Engaging with Narratives

(p.76) 6 Engaging with Narratives
Fiction and Narrative

Derek Matravers

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides a number of philosophical arguments for thinking that we need an account of engaging with narratives that is neutral between fiction and non-fiction. Drawing on the work of George Potts and others, it supports these claims with evidence from psychology that representations are compartmentalized from our background structures of belief. Consideration of the objection that what counts as coherence will differ between fictions and non-fictions leads to a discussion of how to determine the content of fiction. The views of Peter Lamarque and Stein Olsen are considered. A single principle for determining the content of fictional and non-fictional narratives is formulated, and the matter of whether Walton’s ‘principles of generation’ differ between the two modes is discussed.

Keywords:   Lamarque, Olsen, Potts, Walton, compartmentalization, coherence, fictional content, principles of generation

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