SOPhiA 2021

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programm - Vortrag

Does Fictional Speech have an Epistemic Value?
(Philosophy of Language, )

This contribution aims at mapping the relation and emergence of propositional knowledge through fictional speech. To put it in concrete terms, I will first argue why a.) fictional speech, which I, following a broad analytical tradition, understand as non-assertive and non-propositional (Frege) and consequently as non-illocutionary (Searle) speech, can nonetheless lead to propositional knowledge. Thus, the starting point of this investigation is a common view held in philosophy of language as well as literary theory regarding fictional speech: because fictional speech does not perform any propositions with assertive force, it consequently cannot produce propositional knowledge, as is often stated. However, I will argue that no contradiction is done simply by claiming fictional speech -- even though understood as non-assertive speech -- to be capable of generating propositional knowledge. In a second step, I will b.) show what types of propositional knowledge are possible in fictional speech (e.g. in fictional literature). For this purpose, I will apply Oliver R. Scholz's threefold division of propositional knowledge to the field of fictional speech in literature, which are the following:

1. propositional knowledge (knowing that)
2. practical knowledge (knowing how to, i.e. knowledge related to action)
3. phenomenal knowledge (knowing how, i.e. knowledge regarding perception)

On the basis of selected fictional apeech and statements from literary examples, this contribution thus intends to explain and justify a.) the possibility of propositional knowledge through fictional speech and b.) the three concrete types of propositional knowledge through fictional speech as suggested by Scholz.


Scholz, Oliver R.: Fiktionen, Wissen und andere kognitive Güter. In: Fiktionalität. Ein interdisziplinäres Handbuch. Edit. by Klauk, Tobias & Köppe, Tilmann. Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter 2014, pp. 209-234.

Chair: Gabriel Levc
Zeit: 16:50-17:20, 09. September 2021 (Donnerstag)
Ort: SR 1.007

Nursan Celik
(University of Muenster, Deutschland)

Born 1992 in Gießen, Germany

Gender: Female (she/her)

Languages: Kurmandschi (First/Native Language), German (Second first Language), English (Fluent), Latin (Advanced), French (Beginner Level)

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