Stacie Friend (Birkbeck College): The factual basis of learning from fiction19th November 2018 - 4:15 pm,
Discussions of the cognitive value of fictional literature usually take for granted that we can learn ordinary facts from fiction, and focus instead on other forms of knowledge or cognitive improvement. I argue that at least some of these other kinds of cognitive value — such as learning ‘what it’s like’ to have different experiences, or acquiring psychological insight into other human beings — presuppose a basis in fact. I outline an account of the conditions under which we learn facts from fiction, and deploy it to better understand how fictions may be sources of other forms of cognitive value.
About the author
Stacie Friend is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Birkbeck University, Vice President of the British Society of Aesthetics, and an organizer for the London Aesthetics Forum. She’s published on a wide variety of topics within the philosophy of fiction, including the metaphysics of fictional objects, emotional responses to fiction, as well as its cognitive value. She’s perhaps best known for advocating a view of fiction as a genre.