Derek Matravers: Those pesky categories of fact and fiction

Dr Derek Matravers (Open University) speaks at the Scottish Aesthetics Forum, 7th March 2017.

Abstract: This paper will consider whether works in genres such as biopics, docudramas, and Shakespeare’s History Plays are fiction or non-fiction. It will argue that (a) some of them are non-fictions and (b) that, for others, it is a mistake to classify them under either heading. This will lead to a consideration of what motivates authors of non-fiction, and argues that a commitment to truth has both an epistemological and a non-epistemological function. Along the way it will conclude (as does Kendall Walton) that it is misguided to think that fiction is more of a philosophical puzzle than non-fiction.