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DEGREE REGULATIONS & PROGRAMMES OF STUDY 2016/2017

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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Philosophy

Undergraduate Course: The Philosophy of Fiction (PHIL10153)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will introduce and examine a number of philosophical issues raised by fiction, covering topics at the intersection of aesthetics and epistemology, metaphysics, and the philosophies of language and mind.
Course description This course will introduce and examine a number of philosophical issues raised by fiction, covering topics at the intersection of aesthetics and epistemology, metaphysics, and the philosophies of language and mind: the nature of fiction; whether fictional characters exist and if so, what they are; whether we can gain real-world knowledge from engaging with fiction; the problem of "imaginative resistance" (why we cannot 'suspend disbelief' on things like principles of morality when engaging with fiction); and the "paradox of fiction" (how can we, for example, fear Darth Vader when we don't believe he really exists), and whether we need a new psychological state (an 'alief' in Gendler's terminology) to solve it.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Mind, Matter and Language (PHIL08014) AND Knowledge and Reality (PHIL08017)
Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 Philosophy courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2016/17, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  30
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The assessment will take the form of a midterm essay [1500 words] and a final essay [2500 words].
Midterm essay 40%; final essay 60%.
Feedback Midterm Essay of 1500 words, due in October
No Exam Information
Academic year 2016/17, Part-year visiting students only (VV1) Quota:  6
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The assessment will take the form of a midterm essay [1500 words] and a final essay [2500 words].
Midterm essay 40%; final essay 60%.
Feedback Midterm Essay of 1500 words, due in October
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate core skills in philosophy, including interpreting and critically engaging with philosophical texts, evaluating arguments and theories, and developing one's own ideas in response to the issues discussed
  2. Acquire knowledge of the main theories of the nature of fiction and the nature of fictional characters and the main responses to the paradox of fiction and the puzzle of imaginative resistance
  3. Analyze the strengths and weakness of these theories and responses
Reading List
Textbook: Sainsbury, R.M. Fiction and Fictionalism. Routledge. The class would cover the first five chapters of this book, with the other readings being drawn from the following list:

- Friend, Stacie. 2007. Fictional Characters. Philosophy Compass 2: 141-56.
- Friend, Stacie. 2011. Fiction as a Genre. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society Supplementry Vol. 112: 163-80.
- Friend, Stacie. 2014. Believing in Stories. In Greg Currie, Matthew Kieran, Aaron Meskin and Jon Robson, eds. Aesthetics and the Sciences of the Mind. Oxford University Press.
- Gendler, Tamar Szabo. 2000. The Puzzle of Imaginative Resistance. Reprinted in Gendler. 2010. Intuition, Imagination, and Philosophical Methodology. Oxford University Press.
- Gendler, Tamar Szabo. 2006. Imaginative Resistance Revisited. Reprinted in Gendler. 2010. Intuition, Imagination, and Philosophical Methodology. Oxford University Press.
- Gendler, Tamar Szabo and Kovakovich, Karson. 2005. Genuine Rational Fictional Emotions. Reprinted in Gendler. 2010. Intuition, Imagination, and Philosophical Methodology. Oxford University Press.
- Gendler, Tamar Szabo. 2008. Alief and Belief. Reprinted in Gendler. 2010. Intuition, Imagination, and Philosophical Methodology. Oxford University Press.
- Gendler, Tamar Szabo. 2008. Alief in Action (and Reaction). Reprinted in Gendler. 2010. Intuition, Imagination, and Philosophical Methodology. Oxford University Press.
- Lewis, David. 1978. Truth in Fiction. American Philosophical Quarterly 15: 37-46.
- Radford, Colin. 1975. How Can We Be Moved by the Fate of Anna Karenina? Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 69: 67-80.
- Stock, Kathleen. 2005. Resisting Imaginative Resistance. Philosophical Quarterly 55: 607-24.
- Stock, Kathleen. 2011. Fictive Utterance and Imagining. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society Supplementary Vol. 112: 145-61.
- Thomasson, Amie. 1999. Fiction and Metaphysics. Cambridge University Press.
- van Inwagen, Peter. 1977. Creatures of Fiction. American Philosophical Quarterly 14: 299-308.
- Waldon, Kendall. 1990. Mimesis as Make-Believe. Harvard University Press.
- Weatherson, Brian. 2004. Morality, Fiction, and Possibility. Philosophers┐ Imprint 4: 1-27.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Contacts
Course organiserDr Aidan Mcglynn
Tel: (0131 6)51 6333
Email: amcglynn@exseed.ed.ac.uk
Course secretaryMiss Samantha Bell
Tel: (0131 6)50 3602
Email: sam.bell@ed.ac.uk
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