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Fiction and Narrative

Oxford University Press (2014)

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  1. Talk About Pop Muzik: Discussion of Enrico Terrone, ‘Listening to Other Minds: A Phenomenology of Pop Songs’, BJA 60 (2020), 435–453.Nicholas Wiltsher - 2021 - British Journal of Aesthetics 61 (4):471-483.
    In ‘Listening to Other Minds’, Enrico Terrone provides an account of the mental activity in which we ought to engage to appreciate pop music. He argues that we should ‘play a game of make-believe’ in which we imagine that we can ‘hear … the mind’ of a fictional character. We should use this ability to grasp the thoughts and feelings that the mind contains, and thus undertake ‘exploration’ of the character’s ‘inner life’. This article argues, first, that only a simplified (...)
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  • Models As Fictions, Fictions As Models.Gregory Currie - 2016 - The Monist 99 (3):296-310.
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  • ‘Truth in Fiction’ Reprised.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2022 - British Journal of Aesthetics 62 (2):307-324.
    The paper surveys recent appraisals of David Lewis’s seminal paper on truth in fiction. It examines variations on standard criticisms of Lewis’s account, aiming to show that, if developed as Lewis suggests in his 1983 Postscript A, his proposals on the topic are—as Hanley puts it—‘as good as it gets’. Thus elaborated, Lewis’s account can resist the objections, and it offers a better picture of fictional discourse than recent resurrections of other classic works of the 1970s by Kripke, van Inwagen (...)
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  • Imagination.Shen-yi Liao & Tamar Gendler - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    To imagine is to form a mental representation that does not aim at things as they actually, presently, and subjectively are. One can use imagination to represent possibilities other than the actual, to represent times other than the present, and to represent perspectives other than one’s own. Unlike perceiving and believing, imagining something does not require one to consider that something to be the case. Unlike desiring or anticipating, imagining something does not require one to wish or expect that something (...)
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  • Fiction.Fred Kroon - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Imagination.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 2011 - In Edward N. Zalta (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Center for the Study of Language and Information, Stanford University.
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  • Interpreting plural predication: homogeneity and non-maximality.Manuel Križ & Benjamin Spector - 2021 - Linguistics and Philosophy 44 (5):1131-1178.
    Plural definite descriptions across many languages display two well-known properties. First, they can give rise to so-called non-maximal readings, in the sense that they ‘allow for exceptions’. Second, while they tend to have a quasi-universal quantificational force in affirmative sentences, they tend to be interpreted existentially in the scope of negation. Building on previous works, we offer a theory in which sentences containing plural definite expressions trigger a family of possible interpretations, and where general principles of language use account for (...)
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  • Fiction Cannot Be True.László Kajtár - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (9):2167-2186.
    According to the dominant theory of intentionalism, fiction and non-fiction are in a “mix-and-match” relationship with truth and falsity: both fiction and nonfiction can be either true or false. Intentionalists hold that fiction is a property of a narrative that is intended to elicit not belief but imagination or make-belief in virtue of the audience’s recognizing that such is the intention of the fiction-maker. They claim that in unlikely circumstances these fictions can turn out to be accidentally true. On the (...)
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  • Explaining Imagination.Peter Langland-Hassan - 2020 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    ​Imagination will remain a mystery—we will not be able to explain imagination—until we can break it into parts we already understand. Explaining Imagination is a guidebook for doing just that, where the parts are other ordinary mental states like beliefs, desires, judgments, and decisions. In different combinations and contexts, these states constitute cases of imagining. This reductive approach to imagination is at direct odds with the current orthodoxy, according to which imagination is a sui generis mental state or process—one with (...)
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  • Fictional Characters and Their Discontents: Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics of Fictional Entities.Shamik Chakravarty - 2021 - Dissertation, Lingnan University
    In recent metaphysics, the questions of whether fictional entities exist, what their nature is, and how to explain truths of statements such as “Sherlock Holmes lives at 221B Baker Street” and “Holmes was created by Arthur Conan Doyle” have been subject to much debate. The main aim of my thesis is to wrestle with key proponents of the abstractionist view that fictional entities are abstract objects that exist (van Inwagen 1977, 2018, Thomasson 1999 and Salmon 1998) as well as Walton’s (...)
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  • Impossible Worlds.Franz Berto & Mark Jago - 2013 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    We need to understand the impossible. Francesco Berto and Mark Jago start by considering what the concepts of meaning, information, knowledge, belief, fiction, conditionality, and counterfactual supposition have in common. They are all concepts which divide the world up more finely than logic does. Logically equivalent sentences may carry different meanings and information and may differ in how they're believed. Fictions can be inconsistent yet meaningful. We can suppose impossible things without collapsing into total incoherence. Yet for the leading philosophical (...)
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  • The Real Foundation of Fictional Worlds.Stacie Friend - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (1):29-42.
    I argue that judgments of what is ‘true in a fiction’ presuppose the Reality Assumption: the assumption that everything that is true is fictionally the case, unless excluded by the work. By contrast with the more familiar Reality Principle, the Reality Assumption is not a rule for inferring implied content from what is explicit. Instead, it provides an array of real-world truths that can be used in such inferences. I claim that the Reality Assumption is essential to our ability to (...)
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  • Definition of Fiction: State of the Art.David Davies - 2022 - British Journal of Aesthetics 62 (2):241-255.
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  • Emotion in Fiction: State of the Art.Stacie Friend - 2022 - British Journal of Aesthetics 62 (2):257-271.
    In this paper, I review developments in discussions of fiction and emotion over the last decade concerning both the descriptive question of how to classify fiction-directed emotions and the normative question of how to evaluate those emotions. Although many advances have been made on these topics, a mistaken assumption is still common: that we must hold either that fiction-directed emotions are the same as other emotions, or that they are different. I argue that we should reject this dichotomy.
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  • Fact, Fiction, and Fantasy.Ben Blumson - 2015 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 39 (1):46-57.
    This paper argues: (1) All knowledge from fiction is from imagination (2) All knowledge from imagination is modal knowledge (3) So, all knowledge from fiction is modal knowledge Moreover, some knowledge is from fiction, so (1)-(3) are non-vacuously true.
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  • La paradoja de la ficción.Íngrid Vendrell-Ferran - 2021 - Enciclopedia de la Sociedad Española de Filosofía Analítica.
  • Coping With Imaginative Resistance.Daniel Altshuler & Emar Maier - forthcoming - Journal of Semantics.
    We propose to characterize imaginative resistance as the failure or unwillingness of the reader to take a fictional description of a deviant reality at face value. The goal of the paper is to explore how readers deal with such a breakdown of the default Face Value interpretation strategy. We posit two distinct interpretative ‘coping’ strategies which help the reader engage with the resistance-inducing fiction by attributing the offending content to one of the fictional characters. We present novel empirical evidence that (...)
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  • Experimental Philosophy of Aesthetics.Florian Cova, Amanda Garcia & Shen-yi Liao - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (12):927-939.
    In the past decade, experimental philosophy---the attempt at making progress on philosophical problems using empirical methods---has thrived in a wide range of domains. However, only in recent years has aesthetics succeeded in drawing the attention of experimental philosophers. The present paper constitutes the first survey of these works and of the nascent field of 'experimental philosophy of aesthetics'. We present both recent experimental works by philosophers on topics such as the ontology of aesthetics, aesthetic epistemology, aesthetic concepts, and imagination, as (...)
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  • Just How Wide Should ‘Wide Reading’ Be?Martin Lipscomb - 2015 - Nursing Philosophy 16 (4):187-202.
    Educationalists introduce students to literature search strategies that,with rare exceptions, focus chiefly on the location of primary research reports and systematic reviews of those reports. These sources are, however, unlikely to adequately address the normative and/or metaphysical questions that nurses frequently and legitimately interest themselves in. To meet these interests, non-research texts exploring normative and/or metaphysical topics might and perhaps should, in some situations, be deemed suitable search targets. This seems plausible and, moreover, students are encouraged to ‘read widely’. Yet (...)
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  • Sport, Games, and the Fluidity of Agency.Jon Pike - 2021 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 48 (3):392-402.
    Thi Nguyen has given us a cracker of a book in Games: Agency as Art, one that sports philosophers amongst others will learn from for many years. One fascinating (but I will argue, pro...
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  • Metalinguistic Acts in Fiction.Nellie Wieland - 2021 - In Emar Maier & Andreas Stokke (eds.), The Language of Fiction. Oxford University Press. pp. 301-324.
    This chapter identifies and explains several primary functions of the fictional use of metalinguistic devices and considers some difficult cases. In particular, this chapter argues that when real persons are quoted in a storyworld they are ‘storified’ as near-real fictions. In cases of the misquotation of real persons, near-real fictions and near-real quotations must adequately exploit resemblances between the real and the fictional. This concludes with a discussion of the similarities between fictional and nonfictional uses of metalinguistic acts, and how (...)
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  • Glitches as Fictional (Mis)Communication.Nele Van de Mosselear & Nathan Wildman - 2021 - In Timothy Barker & Maria Korolkova (eds.), Miscommunication: Error, mistakes, media. Bloomsbury. pp. 300-315.
    Here, we focus on the underexplored fictional relevance of videogame glitches. For this purpose, we will make use philosophical theories on fiction, as well as standard suggestions about how best to deal with unintended errors within fiction. Focusing on glitches like that of Red Dead Redemption’s "manimals", we argue that glitches, more than any kinds of mistakes in traditional, non-interactive fictions, can actually have a significant influence on the fictional worlds of the work in which they appear. In particular, we (...)
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  • Worlds Without End: A Platonist Theory of Fiction.Patrick Grafton-Cardwell - 2021 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
    I first ask what it is to make up a story. In order to answer that question, I give existence and identity conditions for stories. I argue that a story exists whenever there is some narrative content that has intentionally been made accessible. I argue that stories are abstract types, individuated by the conditions that must be met by something in order to be a properly formed token of the type. However, I also argue that the truth of our story (...)
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  • Emotions, Actions and Inclinations to Act.Christiana Werner - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-18.
    Emotional responses to fiction are part of our experience with art and media. Some of these responses seem to be directed towards fictional entities—entities that we believe do not exist. Some philosophers argue that fictional emotions differ in nature from other emotional responses. :5–27, 1978, Mimesis as make-believe, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1990, Walton, in: Hjort, Laver Emotion and the arts, Oxford University, New York, 1997; Currie in The nature of fiction, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1990; Stecker in Br J (...)
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  • Extracting Fictional Truth From Unreliable Sources.Emar Maier & Merel Semeijn - 2021 - In Emar Maier & Andreas Stokke (eds.), The Language of Fiction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    A fictional text is commonly viewed as constituting an invitation to play a certain game of make-believe, with the individual sentences written by the author providing the propositions we are to imagine and/or accept as true within the fiction. However, we can’t always take the text at face value. What narratologists call ‘unreliable narrators’ may present a confused or misleading picture of the fictional world. Meanwhile there has been a debate in philosophy about so-called ‘imaginative resistance’ in which we are (...)
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  • There Are No I-Beliefs or I-Desires at Work in Fiction Consumption and This is Why.Peter Langland-Hassan - 2020 - In Explaining Imagination. Oxford: pp. 210-233.
    Currie’s (2010) argument that “i-desires” must be posited to explain our responses to fiction is critically discussed. It is argued that beliefs and desires featuring ‘in the fiction’ operators—and not sui generis imaginings (or "i-beliefs" or "i-desires")—are the crucial states involved in generating fiction-directed affect. A defense of the “Operator Claim” is mounted, according to which ‘in the fiction’ operators would be also be required within fiction-directed sui generis imaginings (or "i-beliefs" and "i-desires"), were there such. Once we appreciate that (...)
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  • Creativity.Peter Langland-Hassan - 2020 - In Explaining Imagination. Oxford: pp. 262-296.
    Comparatively easy questions we might ask about creativity are distinguished from the hard question of explaining transformative creativity. Many have focused on the easy questions, offering no reason to think that the imagining relied upon in creative cognition cannot be reduced to more basic folk psychological states. The relevance of associative thought processes to songwriting is then explored as a means for understanding the nature of transformative creativity. Productive artificial neural networks—known as generative antagonistic networks (GANs)—are a recent example of (...)
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  • Exploding Stories and the Limits of Fiction.Michel-Antoine Xhignesse - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (3):675-692.
    It is widely agreed that fiction is necessarily incomplete, but some recent work postulates the existence of universal fictions—stories according to which everything is true. Building such a story is supposedly straightforward: authors can either assert that everything is true in their story, define a complement function that does the assertoric work for them, or, most compellingly, write a story combining a contradiction with the principle of explosion. The case for universal fictions thus turns on the intuitive priority we assign (...)
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  • Imagining stories: attitudes and operators.Neil Van Leeuwen - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (2):639-664.
    This essay argues that there are theoretical benefits to keeping distinct—more pervasively than the literature has done so far—the psychological states of imagining that p versus believing that in-the-story p, when it comes to cognition of fiction and other forms of narrative. Positing both in the minds of a story’s audience helps explain the full range of reactions characteristic of story consumption. This distinction also has interesting conceptual and explanatory dimensions that haven’t been carefully observed, and the two mental state (...)
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  • The Mental Functions of Appreciating Fiction.Naoko Ishida - 2016 - American Society for Aesthetics Graduate E-Journal 8 (2).
    In Fiction and Narrative, Derek Matravers argues that what is fundamental in philosophy of fiction is not the distinction between non-fiction and fiction, but the distinction between confrontation and representation. Moreover, he argues that there is no significant difference between our appreciating fiction and our appreciating non-fiction. His solutions, however, do not fix all of the problems with fiction. There are many similarities between the processes of appreciating fiction and non-fiction, but there are also important differences. In particular, it seems (...)
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  • Contexts as Shared Commitments.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
    Contemporary semantics assumes two influential notions of context: one coming from Kaplan (1989), on which contexts are sets of predetermined parameters, and another originating in Stalnaker (1978), on which contexts are sets of propositions that are “common ground”. The latter is deservedly more popular, given its flexibility in accounting for context-dependent aspects of language beyond manifest indexicals, such as epistemic modals, predicates of taste, and so on and so forth; in fact, properly dealing with demonstratives (perhaps ultimately all indexicals) requires (...)
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  • Ignorance Implicatures and Non-Doxastic Attitude Verbs.Kyle H. Blumberg - 2017 - Proceedings of the 21st Amsterdam Colloquium.
    This paper is about conjunctions and disjunctions in the scope of non-doxastic atti- tude verbs. These constructions generate a certain type of ignorance implicature. I argue that the best way to account for these implicatures is by appealing to a notion of contex- tual redundancy (Schlenker, 2008; Fox, 2008; Mayr and Romoli, 2016). This pragmatic approach to ignorance implicatures is contrasted with a semantic account of disjunctions under `wonder' that appeals to exhausti cation (Roelofsen and Uegaki, 2016). I argue that (...)
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  • Only a Game? Player Misery Across Game Boundaries.Nele Van de Mosselaer - 2019 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 46 (2):191-207.
    ABSTRACTVideogames often confront players with frustratingly difficult challenges, fearsome enemies, and tragic stories. As such, they can evoke feelings of failure, sadness, anger, and fear. Although these feelings are usually regarded as undesirable, many players seem to enjoy videogames which cause them. In this paper, I argue that player misery often originates from a fictional or lusory attitude which brackets game events from real-life, making the player’s emotions solely relevant within the game context. As they are part of the game (...)
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  • Taking the Fictional Stance.Katherine Tullmann - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (6):766-792.
    In this paper, I set out to answer two foundational questions concerning our psychological engagements with fictions. The first is the question of fictional transformation: How we can see fictional media while also ‘seeing’ those objects as fictional ones? The second is the question of fictional response: How and why we take the objects of fiction to be the types of things that we can respond to and judge? Standard responses to these questions rely on distinct cognitive attitudes like pretense, (...)
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  • Beliefs, Make-Beliefs, and Making Believe That Beliefs Are Not Make-Beliefs.Alberto Voltolini - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):5061-5078.
    In this paper I want to hold, first, that one may suitably reconstruct the relevant kind of mental representational states that fiction typically involves, make-beliefs, as contextually unreal beliefs that, outside fiction, are either matched or non-matched by contextually real beliefs. Yet moreover, I want to claim that the kind of make-believe that may yield the mark of fictionality is not Kendall Walton’s invitation or prescription to imagine. Indeed, in order to appeal in terms of make-believe to a specific form (...)
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  • Truth in Fiction, Impossible Worlds, and Belief Revision.Francesco Berto & Christopher Badura - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (1):178-193.
    We present a theory of truth in fiction that improves on Lewis's [1978] ‘Analysis 2’ in two ways. First, we expand Lewis's possible worlds apparatus by adding non-normal or impossible worlds. Second, we model truth in fiction as belief revision via ideas from dynamic epistemic logic. We explain the major objections raised against Lewis's original view and show that our theory overcomes them.
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  • Interacting with Fictions: The Role of Pretend Play in Theory of Mind Acquisition.Merel Semeijn - 2019 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 10 (1):113-132.
    Pretend play is generally considered to be a developmental landmark in Theory of Mind acquisition. The aim of the present paper is to offer a new account of the role of pretend play in Theory of Mind development. To this end I combine Hutto and Gallagher’s account of social cognition development with Matravers’ recent argument that the cognitive processes involved in engagement with narratives are neutral regarding fictionality. The key contribution of my account is an analysis of pretend play as (...)
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  • An Aesthetics of Insight.John Gibson - 2019 - In Beauty: New Essays in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art. Munich, Germany: pp. 277-306.
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  • Imagining in Response to Fiction: Unpacking the Infrastructure.Alon Chasid - 2019 - Philosophical Explorations 23 (1):31-48.
    Works of fiction are alleged to differ from works of nonfiction in instructing their audience to imagine their content. Indeed, works of fiction have been defined in terms of this feature: they are works that mandate us to imagine their content. This paper examines this definition of works of fiction, focusing on the nature of the activity that ensues in response to reading or watching fiction. Investigating how imaginings function in other contexts, I show, first, that they presuppose a cognitive (...)
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  • Fiction, Philosophy, and Television: The Case of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.Iris Vidmar Jovanović - 2021 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 79 (1):76-87.
    This article lies at the intersection of two problems: the one concerning the potential of fictional works to inform us about our social reality and foster our understanding of its various aspects, and the one concerning their potential to engage with philosophical issues. I bring these two together by analyzing the hit television series Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. According to my interpretation, the series is informative about our social world, and it raises philosophical concerns about it. This makes (...)
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  • Is the Paradox of Fiction Soluble in Psychology?Florian Cova & Fabrice Teroni - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (6):930-942.
    If feeling a genuine emotion requires believing that its object actually exists, and if this is a belief we are unlikely to have about fictional entities, then how could we feel genuine emotions towards these entities? This question lies at the core of the paradox of fiction. Since its original formulation, this paradox has generated a substantial literature. Until recently, the dominant strategy had consisted in trying to solve it. Yet, it is more and more frequent for scholars to try (...)
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  • Narrative Representation and Phenomenological Knowledge.Rafe McGregor - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (2):327-342.
    The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that narrative representations can provide knowledge in virtue of their narrativity, regardless of their truth value. I set out the question in section 1, distinguishing narrative cognitivism from aesthetic cognitivism and narrative representations from non-narrative representations. Sections 2 and 3 argue that exemplary narratives can provide lucid phenomenological knowledge, which appears to meet both the epistemic and narrativity criteria for the narrative cognitivist thesis. In section 4, I turn to non-narrative representation, focusing (...)
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  • Interactivity, Fictionality, and Incompleteness.Nathan Wildman & Richard Woodward - forthcoming - In Grant Tavinor & Jon Robson (eds.), The Aesthetics of Videogames. Routledge.