Reading (with) Others

In Sonia Sedivy (ed.), Art, Representation, and Make-Believe: Essays on the Philosophy of Kendall L. Walton. New York: Routledge (2021)
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Abstract

Kendall Walton’s account of make-believe takes the social dimension of imagination into account. In this paper I aim to extend this suggestion and argue that works of fiction allow for encounters with concrete (yet fictitious) persons with a distinct point of view and a discernible perspective. These encounters allow us to contrast the perspective(s) that emerge from the work with one’s own. I will then discuss two moments of the social dimension: imagining fictional scenarios is a social practice, a game we play together and in which we encounter others. Both of these moments shed light on the central role of fiction for the social community in which it is embedded and show how engaging with works of fiction can contribute to the inner cohesion and to the persistence of the group.

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Wolfgang Huemer
Università Degli Studi Di Parma

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