2023 Student Research Conference:
36th Annual Student Research Conference

Intuiting Fiction

Padraic C. Riordan
Dr. Stephen Pollard, Faculty Mentor

Literary theory and formal logic are often treated as separate subjects, belonging to different courses if not different departments entirely. But the formal study of fiction, concerned as it is with producing and defending interpretations of the meaning(s) of fictional works, must depend on some logical principles. These logical principles are the concern of fictional discourse logic, of which I aim to provide an account. I argue first that meaning is a relational phenomenon that arises only when two or more things are considered in some context. From this it follows that interpretation, the attempt to identify meaning, is an act of finding or discarding context, which gives meaning a constructive substance. This constructed quality of meaning is best captured by intuitionist logic, which also proves itself the best-suited towards providing a framework for fictional discourse logic.

Keywords: Literary Theory, Formal Logic, Fictional Discourse Logic, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Mathematics, Intuitionism, Classical Logic, Hermeneutics

Topic(s):PHRE Senior Seminar
Philosophy & Religion

Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Session: TBA
Location: TBA
Time: TBA

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