Fiction and Lies
A workshop at the University of Bologna (6th of July 2021)
Can Fictions ever Lie?
Reading fiction can be stimulating and edifying. While fictions recount imaginary stories, we often assume that by reading them we can learn something important about the real world – say, about what it feels to be betrayed by a loved one, or to feel guilty after committing a murder. Sometimes we even learn factual information (be it about the life of ancient leaders or the lush flora of the Amazonian forest). And although most people think that fiction is less reliable than nonfiction as a source of information, many hold it in high regard for its cognitive (and not merely aesthetic) value.
The aim of this workshop is to explore the different ways in which we form beliefs by engaging with fictional stories, and to investigate how this can lead us to form false or unwarranted beliefs. We will be discussing questions like the following: Can fictions ever convey genuine assertions about what is true outside of their stories (in the real world)? Can a false statement contained in a work of fiction ever be a lie? What can fictions deceive us about, and how does 'fictional deception' differ from 'nonfictional deception'?
Attendance is free, but registration is required (due to Covid restrictions)
Attending the event remotely is possible through the following link:
The workshop will be held at the Department of Philosophy and Communication Studies of the University of Bologna
(Via Zamboni 38, Aula VI)
10:15 Opening Greetings
10:30 Alberto Voltolini: Did Greeks Believe Their Myths?
11.40 Coffee Break
12:00 James E. Mahon: Are There Any "Lieworks"?
13.10 - 15.00 Lunch Break
15.00 Daisy Dixon: Novel Assertions
16.10 Coffee Break
16.30 Neri Marsili: Misleading Fictions