How to Make Believe. The Fictional Truths of the Representational Arts.
International and interdisciplinary conference
University of Lund (Sweden)
March 15-17, 2012
In 1990, two books dealing with the notion of fiction as make-believe were published within Aesthetics and Analytical Philosophy: Kendall Walton’s Mimesis and Make-Believe and Gregory Currie’s The Nature of Fiction. Both books explain fictionality in analogy to children’s games of make-believe. According to Walton, once a game of make-believe is going on, participants will generate fictional truths according to the unwritten, but mutually accepted rules of the game. Walton further argues that this game of make-believe works approximately the same way for all types of representational arts, e.g. novels, films, poems, pictures, plays, statues, dance and even music. Works of art have in common that they are used as props in games of make-believe with the result that the “mechanics of generation” of fictional truths are at work. Both Walton and Currie have given thorough accounts of how these mechanics of generation can be described, with rich examples from all fields, above all from literature and film. They have also emphasized that all the different categories of art generate fictional truths in their own special way. However, Walton’s and Currie’s extensive and integrative theoretical approaches mainly focus on the general perspective. Their analyses and theoretical framework both give reason and leave room for further exploration of various similarities and differences between possible and specific instances of fiction as make-believe in the representational arts.
Gregory Currie, University of Nottingham (Great Britain)
Peter Lamarque, University of York (Great Britain)
Stein Haugom Olsen, Høgskolen i Østfold (Norway)
Kendall L. Walton, University of Michigan (USA)
Alexander Bareis, Lund University (Sweden)
Lene Nordrum, Chalmers University of Technolology / Lund University (Sweden)