Second Graduate Workshop on Fiction and Philosophy

October 4, 2018 - October 5, 2018
Department of Philosophy, Lund University

LUX: B339
Helgonavägen 3
Lund 223 62

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities


Lund University
University of Gothenburg

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Can engaging with fiction and arts change our practical reality – for instance the reality of moral, political and legal practice? Can fiction make us better people? Can reading (narrative) literature enhance ethical capacities? There has been continuous dispute about the contribution that ‘poetry’—i.e. imaginative literature, or fiction—can make towards moral philosophy ever since Socrates asked the question ‘how we ought to live?’ (Pl. Rep. 352d).

The ambition of this workshop is to bring together presentations from a number of young researchers, focusing on philosophy and fiction, who take an interest in what role and import a study of literature and fictional works can have for philosophical research in areas like ethics, value-theory, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and metaphysics, and conversely what philosophical progress in those areas can bring to the study of e.g., comparative literature, literary theory, film studies, etc. We hope to discuss both promises and problems for an approach that takes seriously the idea that the study of fiction and philosophical research can inform each other in various ways, and just how they can do so.

Following some hugely influential works in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s by philosophers such as Iris Murdoch, Gilbert Ryle, Stanley Cavell and Peter Winch, a string of thinkers in the 1980s and 90s (such as e.g., Martha C. Nussbaum and Cora Diamond) made such an impact that talk of a ‘literary turn’ is warranted. At the same time as these philosophers produced pioneering work, a corresponding movement within the field of literary theory and criticism (comprising thinkers such as e.g., Wayne C. Booth, Samuel Goldberg, and David Parker), usually labeled the ‘ethical turn’, argued for ethical criticism against the background of feminist-, postcolonial- and neo-Marxist criticism. Similar movements can also be discerned in the fields of political and social philosophy (e.g., Richard Rorty, Michael Walzer) as well as in the philosophy of law (James Boyd White, Ronald Dworkin).

This symposium aims to facilitate discussions concerning the possibilities and limitations of the ‘literary turn’ and its adjacent movements in a multi-disciplinary context by bringing together young researchers active in a variety of fields. Topics may include, but are not limited to, the role of art in improving, developing, criticizing or transforming moral consciousness, ethical understanding or legal practice.

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October 3, 2018, 5:00am CET

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1 person is attending:

Frits Gåvertsson

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