Workshop on the Nature of Fiction

Wednesday 15 May 2013

IP London Aesthetics Forum
Wed 1 May 2013
Senate Room, Senate House, Malet Street, WC1

Workshop on the Nature of Fiction
Gregory Currie • David Davies • Stacie Friend • Kathleen Stock

The aim of this one-day work-shop is to bring together four philosophers who have been engaged in a significant debate over the nature of fiction over the last several years. The most popular theory of fiction today, both within aesthetics and in other philosophical domains, is the ‘fictive utterance’ account. According to this theory, first articulated in detail by Gregory Currie in The Nature of Fiction (1990), fictionality turns essentially on the author’s intention to invite imagining. In publications in 1996 and 2001, David Davies developed a distinctive version of the same view, and in a 2008 paper Stacie Friend criticized both Currie and Davies, arguing that the invitation to imagine provides neither necessary nor sufficient conditions for fictionality. Kathleen Stock then defended a version of the fictive utterance theory designed to avoid Friend’s objections, to which Friend replied, in a Joint Session plenary symposium (2011). Since then Friend has proposed an alternative approach to fiction (2012); Stock and Davies have written papers (as yet unpublished) responding to Friend’s criticisms; and Currie has reconsidered the relationship between fiction and imagining (also unpublished).

This event is free but registration is required. Please register via the London Aesthetics Forum website: .


Stacie Friend (Heythrop)
Defining fiction without imagination

11.00-11.30 Coffee/tea (provided)

David Davies (McGill)
Fictive utterance, fictional works, and fictional narratives

12.30-2.00 Lunch (own arrangements)

Kathleen Stock (Sussex)
The nature of fiction: Why be generic when you can be imaginative?

3.00-3.30 Coffee/tea (provided)

Gregory Currie (Nottingham) – Fiction, imagination, supervenience

Panel Discussion

The IP London Aesthetics Forum is generously supported by the British Society of Aesthetics.