VIDI-project ‘The language of fiction and imagination’

My PhD project is part of Dr. Emar Maier’s VIDI project ‘The language of fiction and imagination’. The aim of Dr. Maier’s research project is to provide a cognitive and formal semantics of fiction that can explain the difference between engaging with fiction and everyday communication so as to solve Radford’s classic paradox of fiction (i.e., how can we be moved by Frodo’s faith if he doesn’t even exist?).

The project is divided into three subprojects, each working out a different component of a comprehensive semantic account of fiction interpretation: (A) an analysis of imagination as a mental state, (B) an analysis of fiction as triggering imagination updates, and (C) a semantic analysis of literary style. It will be my task to work on subproject A and develop a formal model of complex mental states such as imagination and its relation to belief. Dr. Maier will work on subproject B and fellow PhD student Sofia Bimpikou will work on subproject C.