Fiction and Narrative

Paperback | March 1, 2017

byDerek Matravers

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For the past twenty years there has been a virtual consensus in philosophy that there is a special link between fiction and the imagination. In particular, fiction has been defined in terms of the imagination: what it is for something to be fictional is that there is some requirement that areader imagine it. Derek Matravers argues that this rests on a mistake; the proffered definitions of "the imagination" do not link it with fiction but with representations more generally. In place of the flawed consensus, he offers an account of what it is to read, listen to, or watch a narrativewhether that narrative is fictional or non-fictional. The view that emerges, which draws extensively on work in psychology, downgrades the divide between fiction and non-fiction and largely dispenses with the imagination. In the process, he casts new light on a succession of issues: on the "paradoxof fiction", on the issue of fictional narrators, on the problem of "imaginative resistance", and on the nature of our engagement with film.

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For the past twenty years there has been a virtual consensus in philosophy that there is a special link between fiction and the imagination. In particular, fiction has been defined in terms of the imagination: what it is for something to be fictional is that there is some requirement that areader imagine it. Derek Matravers argues that...

After taking Philosophy for his first degree at University College London, Derek Matravers went on to complete his doctorate at Cambridge. He was a Post-Doctoral Lecturer at Cambridge, before moving to the Open University in 1994 where he is now Professor. He continues his links with Cambridge, where he is a Senior Member of Darwin Col...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.68 inPublished:March 1, 2017Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198776608

ISBN - 13:9780198776604

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Walton on Fiction3. Fiction and the Imagination4. The Real Distinction5. Understanding Narratives6. Engaging with Narratives7. Narrative and Belief8. The (so-called) Paradox of Fiction9. Narrators, Impossible Fictions, and the 'Fictionality Puzzle'10. Coda: Film

Editorial Reviews

"Fiction and Narrative is a concise work that consists of short chapters tightly packed with arguments; yet, it manages to do a lot. In addition to providing an intriguing theoretical reorientation, the book has substantial value in clarifying (and questioning) recent debates around fiction." --Jukka Mikkonen, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews