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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: November ::
Re: Fops
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.2010  Thursday, 2 November 2000.

[1]     From:   Werner Broennimann <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 01 Nov 2000 19:05:59 +0000
        Subj:   SHK 11.1987 Re: Fops

[2]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 01 Nov 2000 10:46:56 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2001 Re: Fops


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Wednesday, 01 Nov 2000 10:46:56 -0500
Subject: 11.2001 Re: Fops
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2001 Re: Fops

Sean Lawrence

>Often, we can't ask a real person either.  They might be unavailable,
>dead, themselves confused, unaware of subconscious drives, etc.  The
>difference between real and fictive persons, in other words, is not
>fundamentally an epistemological issue.

Actually, my point is ontological rather than epistemological.  I
consider dramatic characters to be ontologically dependant cultural
constructs.

Sean goes on to ask:

>What is a real person, anyway?

By "real person" I mean a living individual with independent volition.
I assume, for example, that Sean Lawrence is a real person, not a
literary fiction -- though I could, of course, be wrong. He may just be
passing the Turing test.

>The ethical [ethical? in what sense?]
>problem of how to react to characters on stage is not done away with,
>does not cease to be a problem, because we know them to be fictive, any
>more than the epistemological problems of the eighteenth century are
>effectively solved by Johnson stubbing his toe.  This problem should
>awaken us from our philosophical slumber, not make us take refuge in
>naivety.

Dr. J.'s kicking the stone was an interesting comment on ontology, not
epistemology. I agree that epistemologically be know literary characters
and real people (like Sean Lawrence) in the same way.  But they surely
have different ontological statuses.

How do we account for the fact that we real people talk about literary
characters as if they are indeed real people?  We need a theory of
mimetic art -- a philosophic theory, rather than a literary theory.
There have been three major attempts in western philosophy in the 20th
century to formulate such a theory.  Which one do you find most
compelling?

Yours, Bill Godshalk

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Werner Broennimann <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 01 Nov 2000 19:05:59 +0000
Subject: Re: Fops
Comment:        SHK 11.1987 Re: Fops

Se

 

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