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Fiction and Other Minds

Fiction and Other Minds
Dan Zahavi (Copenhagen; Oxford)
Naomi Rokotnitz (Oxford)
Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 17:15 to 19:15
Seminar Room 11, St Anne's College

TORCH/Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation Research Programme in conjunction with the John Fell Fund project “I & We: Literary Texts and the Constitution of Shared Identities at Four Moments of Historical Transition”


What Can Literature Teach us about Personal and Collective Identification?


Part I Wednesday 12th February (4th Week): Dan Zahavi and Naomi Rokotnitz

Part II Postponed to Michaelmas 2020: Felix Budelmann and Ben Morgan


Dan Zahavi (Copenhagen and St Hilda's): “I, You and We”

This talk presented some of the challenges facing a plausible account of we-intentionality. I discussed and criticized a couple of different recent approaches that either claim that the 'we' precedes individual subjectivity or that ‘we-ness’ involves a kind of phenomenal fusion, and instead defend the view that reciprocal second-person engagement plays a crucial role in the emergence of a 'we.'


Naomi Rokotnitz (Worcester): How 'We' contribute to 'I': Part I - Personification, Make-believe Play and Existential Choice 

This paper tested the hypothesis that forms of personification can intervene in the productive interchange between a subject and his or her social environment, contributing in significant ways to formations of the self and that self's relations to others, as well as suggesting criteria by which to define authentic being-in-the-world and, in particular, "relational authenticity" (Gallagher, Morgan, Rokotnitz 2018). Analysis of two short literary episodes synthesized an approach to authentic selfhood that is rooted in the existential tradition in philosophy, extends to account for a 4E approach to subjectivity (as embodied, embedded, enactive and extended), and demonstrated how this may be made explicit and available for interrogation in fictional texts. 

Fiction and Other Minds | OCCT


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