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Learning from Literary Narratives

Applicant Langkau Julia
Number 168063
Funding scheme Ambizione
Research institution Département de Philosophie Faculté des Lettres Université de Fribourg
Institution of higher education University of Fribourg - FR
Main discipline Philosophy
Start/End 01.03.2017 - 29.02.2020
Approved amount 397'192.00
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Keywords (9)

Imagination; Aesthetic Experience; Literary Narratives; Counterfactual Knowledge; Aesthetics; Knowledge; Fiction; Cognitivism in Aesthetics; Philosophy of Art

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Die Annahme, dass wir ein literarisches Werk aufgrund seiner ästhetischen Eigenschaften schätzen scheint ebenso plausibel zu sein wie die Annahme, dass wir von Literatur etwas lernen können. Das Projekt gibt eine Antwort auf die Frage, wie beides miteinander zusammenhängt.
Lay summary
Wenn wir davon ausgehen, dass wir Literatur zumindest teilweise aufgrund von ästhetischen Eigenschaften schätzen und dass wir ausserdem von Literatur lernen können, dann stellt sich die Frage, inwiefern beides miteinander zusammenhängt. Eine weit verbreitete These besagt, dass die Tatsache, dass wir von Literatur lernen können, wesentlich zum künstlerischen Gehalt von Literatur und damit zu unserer ästhetischen Erfahrung beiträgt. In diesem Projekt wird die entgegengesetzte Erklärungsrichtung untersucht und verteidigt. Die Hauptthese des Projekts besagt, dass die ästhetischen Eigenschaften eines literarischen Werkes wesentlich dazu beitragen, dass wir Wissen von Literatur gewinnen können. Die Idee ist, dass ästhetische Erfahrungen beim Lesen es uns ermöglichen, bestimmte Arten von Vorstellungen zu haben. Diese Vorstellungen wiederum ermöglichen es uns, gewisse Dinge von einem literarischen Werk zu lernen. Zum Beispiel, so besagt die These, können wir uns dank der ästhetischen Qualitäten eines Werks vorstellen, wie es ist, sich in einer bestimmten Situation zu befinden. Diese Vorstellung wiederum kann dazu führen, dass wir lernen, wie es wäre, sich in einer solchen Situation zu befinden. Gegenstand der Untersuchungen wird einerseits sein, welche Arten von Vorstellungen durch ästhetische Erfahrung ermöglicht wird und andererseits, welche Arten von Wissen wir auf diese Weise von Literatur gewinnen können.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 25.01.2017

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
The empathic skill fiction can’t teach us
Langkau Julia (2020), The empathic skill fiction can’t teach us, in Philosophical Psychology, 33(3), 313-331.
Imagination
Arcangeli Margherita, Langkau Julia (2019), Imagination, in Melchior Guido, Grajner Martin (ed.), J.B. Metzler, Stuttgart, 159-165.
Intuitionen
Langkau Julia (2019), Intuitionen, in Grajner Martin, Melchior Guido (ed.), J.B. Metzler, Stuttgart, 152-158.
Thought Experiments, Counterfactual Knowledge, and Fiction
Langkau Julia (2019), Thought Experiments, Counterfactual Knowledge, and Fiction, in Bornmüller Falk, Lessau Mathis, Franzen Johannes (ed.), noch unbekannt, noch unbekannt, 57-69.
Wie kann Anschaulichkeit dazu beitragen, dass wir von Sachtexten lernen?
Langkau Julia (2019), Wie kann Anschaulichkeit dazu beitragen, dass wir von Sachtexten lernen?, in Mitteilungen des Deutschen Germanistenverbandes, (2/2019), 131-141.
Fiction, Self-Knowledge and Knowledge of the Self
Koeppe Tilmann, Langkau Julia (2017), Fiction, Self-Knowledge and Knowledge of the Self, in Diegesis, 6(1), 46-57.
Imagining being someone else
LangkauJulia, Imagining being someone else, in Badura Christopher, Kind Amy (ed.), Routledge, New York, X.
Komik und Anschaulichkeit
KlaukTobias, KöppeTilmann, LangkauJulia, Komik und Anschaulichkeit, in Kindt Tom, Kaul Susanne (ed.), Wilhelm Fink , Paderborn.
Perspectives on Aesthetic Illusion
Langkau Julia, Perspectives on Aesthetic Illusion, in British Journal of Aesthetics.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Institut Jean Nicod France (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
DFG-Gruppe "What if?" Universiät Konstanz/Universität Berlin Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
University of Miami (USA), Philosophy Department United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Universität Fribourg/Universität Göttingen (Deutschland) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Universität Göttingen (Deutschland), Courant Forschungszentrum "Textstrukturen" Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Universität Zürich, Philosophisches Seminar Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
The Aesthetic Mind: Fourth Workshop Talk given at a conference What we Ought to Imagine 12.02.2020 Fribourg, Switzerland Langkau Julia;
Women* Academics: a Philosophy Workshop Talk given at a conference Experiencing Literary Fiction 13.12.2019 Lausanne, Switzerland Langkau Julia;
Colloquium Utrecht University Individual talk Experiencing Literary Fiction 03.12.2019 Utrecht, Netherlands Langkau Julia;
The Aesthetic Mind: Third Workshop Talk given at a conference Truth Matters, Aesthetically 18.09.2019 Fribourg, Switzerland Langkau Julia;
Philosophical Reasoning as Transformative Experience Talk given at a conference Experiencing Literary Fiction 24.07.2019 Konstanz, Germany Langkau Julia;
Fiction, Imagination, Epistemology Talk given at a conference Two Kinds of Imaginative ‘Vividness’ 27.06.2019 Bochum, Germany Langkau Julia;
Arche Anniversary Conference Talk given at a conference The Empathic Skill Fiction Can’t Teach Us 19.06.2019 St Andrews, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Langkau Julia;
‘What if??’ - Counterfactual Explorations and Thought Experiments Talk given at a conference Thought Experiments and Fiction 22.05.2019 Rome, Italy Langkau Julia;
Thumos Seminar Individual talk Two Kinds of Imaginative 'Vividness' 28.03.2019 University of Geneva, Switzerland Langkau Julia;
Annual Meeting of the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology Talk given at a conference The Empathic Skill Fiction Can't Teach Us 07.03.2019 Cincinnati, United States of America Langkau Julia;
The Aesthetic Mind: Second Workshop Talk given at a conference Creativity, Imagination and Tradition 14.02.2019 University of Fribourg, Switzerland Langkau Julia;
ExRe seminar Individual talk Vivid Literary Descriptions and Intense Experiences 03.10.2018 University of Fribourg, Switzerland Langkau Julia;
Workshop: Attention, Compassion, and Empathy in Ethics Talk given at a conference Empathic Skills and the Carryover Problem 13.09.2018 Fribourg, Switzerland Langkau Julia;
Medialitaet als Norm? Das Wissen der Literatur und des Films Talk given at a conference Empathie und Fiktion 09.07.2018 University of Koblenz, Germany Langkau Julia;
SoPhA 2018 Talk given at a conference Emotions in Response to Fiction 02.07.2018 Leuven, Belgium Langkau Julia;
The Imaginative Workshop Talk given at a conference Vivid Text and Vivid Imagination 15.06.2018 Geneva, Switzerland Langkau Julia;
Thumos Seminar Individual talk Emotions in Response to Fiction 24.05.2018 University of Geneva, Switzerland Langkau Julia;
Ringvorlesung Emotionen, Universität Zürich Individual talk Literary Fiction and Emotions as Construals 03.04.2018 Zürich, Switzerland Langkau Julia;
Literatur als Gedankenexperiment / Literature as Thought Experiment Talk given at a conference Thought Experiments, Counterfactual Knowledge, and Fiction 16.03.2018 Naumburg, Germany Langkau Julia;
Fiction and Imagination, Artistic Capacities and Images: Workshop with Greg Currie Talk given at a conference Fiction and Empathy 01.02.2018 Miami, United States of America Langkau Julia;
Workshop Imagination and Knowledge Talk given at a conference Empathy and Knowledge from Fiction 28.09.2017 Konstanz, Germany Langkau Julia;
The Aesthetic Mind: First Workshop Talk given at a conference Fiction and Two Kinds of Perspective Taking 02.06.2017 Fribourg, Switzerland Langkau Julia;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
The Aesthetic Mind: Fourth Workshop 12.02.2020 Fribourg, Switzerland
The Aesthetic Mind: Second Workshop 14.02.2019 Fribourg, Switzerland
Book Symposium Kathleen Stock 11.09.2017 Fribourg, Switzerland
The Aesthetic Mind: First Workshop 02.06.2017 Fribourg, Switzerland

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Zürcher Philosophie Festival Talk 16.01.2020 Zürich, Switzerland Langkau Julia;
Was ist Kreativitat? Talk 25.11.2019 Bern, Switzerland Langkau Julia;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Literary Experience and Affective Responses The Junkyard of the Mind International 2019
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Vivid Descriptions and Intense Imaginings The Junkyard of the Mind International 2018
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Extreme Intentionalism and Testimony-In-Fiction The Junkyard of the mind International 2017
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Reading fiction is like riding a bike with training wheels The Junkyard of the Mind International 2017

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
170586 The Normativity of Aesthetic Judgements 01.01.2017 SNSF Professorships

Abstract

The idea that we can gain knowledge from literary narratives and the idea that we appreciate literary narratives aesthetically have often been understood as conflicting ideas. Some philosophers have argued that the cognitive value of fiction contributes to its aesthetic value. My thesis is that aesthetic experience or appreciation of literary fiction contributes significantly to propositional knowledge we can gain through literary fiction. In order to establish this view, I will i) argue that aesthetic experience plays an enabling role in imagination with phenomenally, emotionally, evaluatively or perspectivally rich content ii) defend the claim that some of the knowledge we can gain through literary narratives is counterfactual knowledge, and ii) discuss the role aesthetic experience and imagination play in gaining knowledge, especially in gaining counterfactual knowledge through literary narratives.
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