Logical Fictions in Medieval Literature and Philosophy by Virginie Greene

By Virginie Greene

Within the 12th and 13th centuries, new methods of storytelling and inventing fictions seemed within the French-speaking components of Europe. This new paintings nonetheless impacts our international tradition of fiction. Virginie Greene explores the connection among fiction and the improvement of neo-Aristotelian common sense in this interval via an in depth exam of seminal literary and philosophical texts by means of significant medieval authors, akin to Anselm of Canterbury, Abélard, and Chrétien de Troyes. This learn of outdated French logical fictions encourages a broader theoretical mirrored image approximately fiction as a common human trait and a defining component to the heritage of Western philosophy and literature. extra shut readings of classical Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle, and smooth analytic philosophy together with the paintings of Bertrand Russell and Rudolf Carnap, reveal unusual features of Western rationalism and divulge its ambivalent dating to fiction.

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Logical Fictions in Medieval Literature and Philosophy

Within the 12th and 13th centuries, new methods of storytelling and inventing fictions seemed within the French-speaking components of Europe. This new artwork nonetheless impacts our international tradition of fiction. Virginie Greene explores the connection among fiction and the improvement of neo-Aristotelian common sense in this interval via a detailed exam of seminal literary and philosophical texts by way of significant medieval authors, reminiscent of Anselm of Canterbury, Abélard, and Chrétien de Troyes.

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Anything they are reported to have said or done is subject to evaluation, discussion, and doubt, because they are inhabitants of a realm of signification that is not exhausted by a referential analysis. 47 This disjunction allows fiction to stand not as a degraded reflection of reality but as a space of semiotic and ontological experimentation, as just one possible set of non-things among many. ” And if I can abstract “the lion,” I can imagine “a lion” as inexistent as a chimera or the chimera. The great gift of fiction to the human mind is the nonexistent particular, this maimed lion that Abelard could see limping in his mind’s eye, whether or not he had seen any lion.

The knight,” once fictionalized into a knight named Yvain, cannot be taken for a universal in any realist perspective. He has to be taken as a particular “non-knight,” deprived of existence but full of meaning. Still, his meaning is not given at once and unequivocally. 60 Thus the fiction signals its own working within the narrative. This is not something that all fictions – thought, told, or written – do, or do all the time. Chrétien does it at times, with subtlety. The passage I analyzed above is one such occurrence.

Ll. 2077–81. pp. 784–6) I would like to honor you greatly, If God grants me to come back; By the faith I owe you, You will be a bishop in our Church: This I grant you here and now. ” Abelard explains what “possible” means in the following terms: “Possibile” quidem et “contingens” idem prorsus sonant. 33 “Possible” and “contingent” mean the same thing. For we do not here take “contingent” for what actually happens, but for what can happen, even if it should never happen, so long as the nature of the thing is not incompatible with its happening but instead permits it to happen.

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