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Literature as Thought Experiment?

Perspectives from Philosophy and Literary Studies

Diese Publikation zitieren

Falk Bornmüller(Hg.), Johannes Franzen(Hg.), Mathis Lessau(Hg.), Literature as Thought Experiment? (2019), Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 33098 Paderborn, ISBN: 9783846764299

Getrackt seit 05/2018


Beschreibung / Abstract

Many people share the intuition that by turning to works of literature something can be learned about the world. One way to explain the epistemic access to the world that fictional literature provides is by comparing it to thought experiments. Both – thought experiments and works of fiction – might be seen as imaginative exercises which help to find out what would or could happen if certain conditions were met. This comparison of fictional literature with thought experiments provides the point of departure for the contributions in our volume. It contributes to the discussion of an approach that has quite recently entered the field of the philosophy of literature.


  • Cover
  • Impressum
  • Contents
  • Preface
  • Imaginative Investigations: Thought Experiments in Science, Philosophy and Literature
  • The Cognitive Value and Ethical Relevance of Fictional Literature
  • Fiction as Thought Experiment?
  • Are Thought-Experiments Always Arguments and Does Literature Literally Re-present?
  • Thought Experiments from Fiction
  • Power and Limits of a Picture: On the Notion of Thought Experiments in Philosophy of Literature
  • Thought Experiments as a Narrative Genre
  • Counterfactual Literature as Thought Experiment
  • The Literary Thought Experiment as Emotional Experience: Émile Zola’s Thérèse Raquin (1867)
  • Narrative Fiction as Philosophical Exploration: A Case Study on Self-Envy and Akrasia
  • Projecting Spaces of Thought: The Geometrical Figure in the Works of Samuel Beckett and Julio Cortázar
  • Guinea Pigs in a Terrarium? Albert Camus’ The Plague as a Thought Experiment
  • The Physicists by Friedrich Dürrenmatt – a Paradoxical Thought Experiment about Scientific Responsibility
  • Conjugations of the ›What If‹: Golden Age Science Fiction: From Thought Experiment to Narrative Critique
  • The Epistemic Potential of Boredom: Wilhelm Genazino’s If we were animals as a Thought Experiment
  • Alternate Lives: Autofictional Thought Experiments in Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis

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