London Aesthetics Forum

London Aesthetics Forum
27 June 2018, 4.00pm - 6.00pm
Room 246, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Fiction and Imagining Across Different Experiential Perspectives

Amy Kind (Claremont McKenna)



Can one have access to experiential perspectives vastly different from one’s own?  Can one know what it’s like to live a life very different from one’s own?  These questions are particularly pressing in contemporary society as we try to bridge racial, ethnic, and gender divides. Yet in both popular culture and in philosophical contexts, we see considerable pessimism in this regard, i.e., it is often thought that the gulf between vastly different experiential perspectives cannot be bridged.  In this paper, I explore the case for this pessimism, and I also explore whether and how reliance on imagination might lead us to a more optimistic conclusion.  As I suggest, one key to the optimistic case involves thinking about the insights we can gain from engagement with fiction.


The London Aesthetics Forum (LAF) is an ongoing speaker series in aesthetics and the philosophy of art. Founded in 2006, the goal of the LAF is to revive philosophical activity in aesthetics within London. The LAF is generously sponsored by the British Society of Aesthetics.Our events are free and open to all.


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