International conference Literary Fiction and Rationality, University of Tampere, May 30-31


School of Social Sciences and Humanities / philosophy
University of Tampere
May 30-31, 2013

Literature gives us a unique opportunity to examine persons and their lives. For example, literature may be seen as illuminating rationality and the different kinds of reasons that agents have for their actions, beliefs, and judgements. It also enables us to examine rationality as a property of a person, and reasons as constituted by the context of a person’s life narrative. Literature may also be considered a source of empirical, moral, and aesthetic reasons and beliefs. The purpose of this conference is to critically discuss these and other conceptions of the relation between literary fiction and rationality.

Conference program:

Thursday May 30

All Thursday sessions are held at Pinni B 1097

10.00 Welcome by Leila Haaparanta

10.15-11.45 Plenary talk by Kathleen Stock:
Fiction, Belief, Imagining and Cognitive Value
(Chair: Leila Haaparanta)

Session I. 
Chair: Jenni Tyynelä
11.55-12.30 Arto Laitinen: On Literary Fiction, Science Fiction and
Thought Experiments in Practical Philosophy

12.30-13.30 Lunch

Session II. 
Chair: Jukka Mikkonen
13.30-14.05 Lars-Olof Åhlberg: Imaginary and Imagined Worlds in Narrative Fiction
14.10-14.45 Karen Simecek: The Rationality of Poetry
14.50-15.25 Alexander Bareis: The Interpretation of Fictional Narrative and Rationality

15.25-15.55 Coffee

Session III. 
Chair: Hanne Appelqvist
15.55-16.30 María José Alcaraz León: Warranted Emotional Responses to Artworks and
the Problem of Moral Education through the Arts
16.35-17.10 Angela Curran: Aristotle on the Nature of Our Affective Responses to Literature
17.15-17.50 Stephen Chamberlain: Emotion and Imagination in the Rationality of Fiction

Friday May 31

09.15-10.45 Plenary talk by Elisabeth Schellekens:
Understanding Fiction: Concepts, Character and Coherence
(Pinni B 1097. Chair: Jukka Mikkonen)

10.45-11.15 Coffee

Session IV. (Pinni B 1096)
Chair: Hanne Appelqvist
11.15-11.50 Riku Juti: Philosophical Lessons from Dickens
11.55-12.30 Timo Vuorio: A Novel as an Argument. Dostojevsky on Crime

Session V. (Pinni B 1097)
Chair: Leila Haaparanta
11.15-11.50 Hanna Meretoja: Literature, Ethics and a Sense of History
11.55-12.30 Olli-Pekka Moisio: Ernst Bloch and Literature

12.30-13.30 Lunch

Session VI. (Pinni B 1096)
Chair: Jenni Tyynelä
13.30-14.05 Jukka Mikkonen: Literary Experience, Reason, and Philosophical Insight
14.10-14.45 Ana Falcato: Form is an Expression of Content. John Coetzee against Substitution Ethical Thought
14.50-15.25 Bridget Vincent: Reasoning with Literature. Poetic and Prosodic Irrationality                                
Session VII. (Pinni B 1097)
Chair: Hanne Appelqvist
13.30-14.05 Niklas Forsberg: Teachings of Density and Distance. Remarks on the Philosophical Significance of Novels beyond the Presence of “Philosophy”   
14.10-14.45 Ingeborg Löfgren: Cavell and Projective Imagination in Philosophy and Literature – Clarification, Mystification, and the Logic of Narration
14.50-15.25 Nora Hämäläinen: Cora Diamond, Alice Crary and an Extended Conception of Rationality

15.25-15.55 Coffee

16.00-17.30 Plenary talk by Garry Hagberg: TBA
(Pinni B 1097. Chair: Hanne Appelqvist)

Closing Words by Leila Haaparanta

The conference is organized by Prof. Leila Haaparanta’s research project Judgment and Human Rationality, funded by the Academy of Finland.

For more information about the event, please contact Hanne Appelqvist (hanne.appelqvist -at- or Jenni Tyynelä (jenni.tyynela -at-