Filosofiska institutionen

Humanistiska och teologiska fakulteterna | Lunds universitet

Graduate workshop on Fiction and Philosophy

Lund University, Department of Philosophy
April 14-15th 2016


Thursday 14th of April

13:00-13:15 Welcome and introduction
13:15-14:00 Elisabeth Schellekens Dammann – ”Understanding Fiction: Concepts, Character and Coherence”
14:15-15:00 Ylwa Sjölin Wirling – “How much fiction is there in fictionalism?”
15:15-16:00 Daniel Helsing – “Evolution, fiction, and popular science”
16:00-16:30 Coffee break
16:30- 17:15 Hege Dypedokk Johnsen – “Plato and the poets”
17:30-18:15 Anna Persson – “The Blur of Habitually Supplementing Karen Blixen’s Out of Africa
19:00 Workshop Dinner

Friday 15th of April

9:00-9:45 Eileen John – “Fiction and thinking in two directions”
10:00-10:45 Marco Tiozzo – “Why literature does not convey any moral knowledge”
10:45-11:15 Coffee break
11:15-12:00 Frits Gåvertsson – “Moral Development, Friendship and Self-deception in Dame Margaret Drabble’s The Millstone
12:15-13:00 Charlotte Hansson Webb – ”Between the idea/ And the reality”: Dualism and its Discontents in the Works of T. S. Eliot”

Schedule (PDF)

List of speakers

Keynote addresses:
Eileen John (University of Warwick)
Elisabeth Schellekens Dammann (Uppsala University)
Graduate contributions:
Hege Dypedokk Johnsen (Stockholm University)
Frits Gåvertsson (Lund University)
Daniel Helsing (Lund University)
Charlotte Hansson Webb (Lund University)
Anna Persson (Stockholm University)
Ylwa Sjölin Wirling (University of Gothenburg)
Marco Tiozzo (University of Gothenburg)

Abstracts and presentations

Description and aim

The ambition of this workshop is to bring together presentations from a number of young researchers in Scandinavia, from the research fields of both philosophy and literature, 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 comparative literature and literary theory. 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.
How the study of philosophy and the study of fiction can inform each other have received surprisingly limited attention within analytic philosophy given the large range of research areas in both theoretical and practical philosophy today that could well profit from a discussion regarding the form, force and role of fiction, and to what extent fiction can and should be used as a philosophical tool.

There are exceptions where the two have fruitfully met, such as for example the study of metaphors and their nature, structure and relation to truth and falsity, the nature of moral progress, moral particularism (and moral anti-theory more broadly construed), the importance of moral judgment, virtue theory, literature’s ability to inform and/or mislead philosophical inquiry, and issues of empathy, simulation theory and its connection to engaging with fictions. But there are other fields too – such as fictionalism as a metaphysical approach to the ontological claims in various areas of inquiry, the widespread use of the concept of ‘representation’, the status of ‘truth in fiction’, and not least how the use of thought experiments as a philosophical method relate to fictions more generally – that would potentially benefit from such a meeting.

This workshop raises the question, in both its general and more specific guises, of what the relation between fiction and philosophy is, and approach it from the perspectives of both philosophy and literary science.

Contact and Registration

For any questions, please feel free to contact ylwa.sjolin.wirlingguse, or frits.gavertssonfil.luse.

All are welcome and participation is free of charge. But there is limited seating, so if you wish to attend, please register by sending an email to ylwa.sjolin.wirlingguse no later than 4th of April 2016.

There is also the possibility for those interested to join the workshop dinner which will take place on the evening of the 14th, and that will be pay-your-own-way for all participants apart from the speakers. If you are interested in joining for dinner, please mention this in your registration email.
The workshop is organised by Dan Egonsson (LU), Frits Gåvertsson (LU), Anna Persson (SU) and Ylwa Sjölin Wirling (GU).

The workshop is sponsored by Erik & Gurli Hultengren’s foundation for philosophy.