Literature, Philosophy Of - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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What Is Fiction?

There are at least two senses of the word fiction that are easy to run together, but need to be distinguished for our present purpose. In one sense, a fiction can simply be a type of falsehood as when one says, "Your PhD is a fiction." By contrast, if one says that Middlemarch is a fiction, they are not saying that there is no such novel. They are saying that it is a certain type of book, story, or representation. It is true that there is such a book, story, or representation.

Unlike ambiguous words such as bank, there is probably some connection between the two senses of fiction, which explains the ease with which they are run together. Works of fiction typically contain an element of unreality. In reality, there is no such town as Middlemarch and no such people as the characters...

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This section contains 6,222 words
(approx. 21 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Literature, Philosophy Of Encyclopedia Article
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Literature, Philosophy Of from Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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