Historical Inaccuracy in Fiction

American Philosophical Quarterly 56 (2):155-170 (2019)
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I ask whether and when historical inaccuracy in a work of art constitutes an aesthetic flaw. I first consider a few replies derived from others: conceptual impossibility, import-export inconsistency, failure of reference, and imaginative resistance. I argue that while there is a grain of truth to some of these proposals, none of them ultimately succeeds. I proceed to offer an alternative account on which the aesthetic demerits of historical inaccuracies stem from a violation of the conversational contract between author and audience. The key question is what that contract implies.



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Iskra Fileva
University of Colorado, Boulder

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References found in this work

The puzzle of imaginative resistance.Tamar Szabo Gendler - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (2):55-81.
Of the standard of taste.David Hume - 1757 - In Essays Moral, Political, and Literary. Libertyclassics (1987). pp. 226-249.
The Puzzle of Imaginative Resistance.Tamar Szabo Gendler - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (2):55.
Imaginative resistance and conversational implicature.Bence Nanay - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (240):586-600.

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