The Paradox of Fiction: A Proposal for a Solution Based on the Information-Processing Approach

Philosophy and Literature 46 (2):301-311 (2023)
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Abstract

Abstract:The paradox of fiction deals with the following question: how is it possible to react emotionally to a fictive image? After a discussion of two important solutions to the paradox, I present an outline of my solution. The "real/fictional information-processing" theory proposes that all kinds of stimuli (real or fictive) are undergoing information processing by the cognitive system. Each stimulus consists of bundle of particular stimuli (for example, a cat) and certain indicators that specify whether it is real or fictitious. Based on the result of this processing, one's emotional response is done adequately—it fits reality.

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