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    The real foundation of fictional worlds

    Friend, Stacie (2017) The real foundation of fictional worlds. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (1), pp. 29-42. ISSN 0004-8402.

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    I argue that judgements of what is ‘true in a fiction’ presuppose the Reality Assumption: the assumption that everything that is (really) true is fictionally the case, unless excluded by the work. By contrast with the more familiar Reality Principle, the Reality Assumption is not a rule for inferring implied content from what is explicit. Instead it provides an array of real-world truths that can be used in such inferences. I claim that the Reality Assumption is essential to our ability to understand stories, drawing on a range of empirical evidence that demonstrates our reliance on it in narrative comprehension. 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. I conclude that we should take fictions, like non-fictions, to be about the real world.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis, available online at the link above.
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Truth in fiction, Reality Principle, prescriptions to imagine, fictionality, Walton, Kendall, Lewis, David
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Research Centres and Institutes: Moving Image, Birkbeck Institute for the (BIMI)
    Depositing User: Stacie Friend
    Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2016 14:39
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:21


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