Elusive Fictional Truth

Craig Bourne, Emily Caddick Bourne

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We argue that some fictional truths are fictionally true by default. We also argue that these fictional truths are subject to being undermined. We propose that the context within which we are to evaluate what is fictionally true changes when a possibility which was previously ignorable is brought to attention. We argue that these cases support a model of fictional truth which makes the conversational dynamics of determining truth in fiction structurally akin to the conversational dynamics of knowledge-ascription, as this is understood by David Lewis’s contextualist approach to knowledge. We show how a number of the rules which Lewis proposes for the case of knowledge-ascription can be employed to develop a novel and powerful framework for the case of truth in fiction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-31
Number of pages17
JournalBritish Journal of Aesthetics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2022


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