Impossible Fictions Part I: Lessons for Fiction

Philosophy Compass 16 (2):1-12 (2021)
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Impossible fictions are valuable evidence both for a theory of fiction and for theories of meaning, mind and epistemology. This article focuses on what we can learn about fiction from reflecting on impossible fictions. First, different kinds of impossible fiction are considered, and the question of how much fiction is impossible is addressed. What impossible fiction contributes to our understanding of "truth in fiction" and the logic of fiction will be examined. Finally, our understanding of unreliable narrators and unreliable narration in fiction needs to accommodate stories that, on the face of it, cannot possibly be true.

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Daniel Nolan
University of Notre Dame


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