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1. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Iris Vidmar Jovanović, Mario Slugan, David Grčki Introduction
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2. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Peter Lamarque Literary Interpretation is Not Just About Meaning
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The paper proposes a radical change of focus for understanding the fundamental purpose and value of literary interpretation. It criticises an orthodox view in analytical philosophy of literature, according to which theories of meaning in the philosophy of language, in particular Gricean or speech act or other pragmatic theories, offer the most illuminating way to grasp the relevant principles of interpretation. The argument here is that the application of such theories in this context is not just wrong in detail (this or that theory needs revising) but wrong in principle. The focus is wrong. The importation of philosophy of language distorts the essential character of interpretation, which should be seen as involving not so much meaning as value, not individual sentences but whole works, not obsessed with authorial intention but focused on the protocols of reading.
3. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Antonia Heigl Beyond Reading: What it Means to Encounter a Literary Work of Art
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What does it mean to encounter a literary work of art? When we talk about them, we refer to literary works as characterizable entities. In a genuine encounter with a literary work, instead, our focus shifts to “what it is about”: we bring to mind the intentional objects it invites us to direct our attention to, typically through reading. If what we encounter is a work of art, however, we are invited to do something beyond that even, namely to attune ourselves to disclose something more profound. Through shifting our focus from the individual to the typical and affectively responding to a work’s characteristics, we disclose a qualitative character that presents itself as of general relevance insofar as it characterizes a specific kind of thing potentially experienced in the world. Our focus shifts from individual intentional objects, such as a character’s view of her partner as standing in need of salvation, to the kinds of values and things manifested therein, such as the peculiar kind of ambiguity inhering a specific kind of commitment. To encounter a literary work of art, I conclude, means to follow the invitation to disclose value essentials, and thus to find a specific kind of truth.
4. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Alex Obrigewitsch Intimations of a Lyricism sans Subject: On the Poetics of Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe
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The lyric is a form or genre of poetry often intimately related to subjectivity. But is a lyricism divested of the subject possible? By examining the philosophical reflections of Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe upon lyricism, poetry, and their relation to subjectivity, this article explicates how an impersonal lyricism is not only possible, but perhaps necessary. If we wish to do justice to the phrasing or saying of poetic language, then we must endeavour to think the displacement of the subject in and by the very language that the poem expresses. Following Lacoue-Labarthe, this article explores the paradoxical turn of lyricism—that it is bound to the subject, but not to its personal expression; rather, to its disappearance, its displacement, in the expression of language itself. By tracing a sketch of Lacoue-Labarthe’s poetics, relating this thought to the lyrical theories of Hamburger and Culler, and providing a brief explication of one of Lacoue-Labarthe’s “poetic” writings, lyricism is shown to be the testament to the disappearance of the subject, the remainder of a disappearance already passed insofar as the poem remains. What remains is that the lyrical subject would be no “subject” at all—only language itself, intimating its own diction.
5. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Elisa Paganini Aesthetic Value of Immoral Fictions
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Can one have an aesthetically valuable experience of fiction that takes an immoral perspective? Some have argued that one can. However, some important objections have been raised against this idea. Two objections are: that the immorality involved is confined to fictional reality, and that the aesthetic value of immoral fiction is dictated by a pluralistic attitude that not everyone accepts. My aim is to respond to these challenges and to argue, on the basis of two examples, that even an unlimited immoral perspective can enhance a widespread aesthetic value.
6. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Antonia Kosena, Stelios Virvidakis Drawing Reflections: What Kind of Knowledge Does Self-referential Literature Yield?
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As part of a larger effort to explore the multiform relations between philosophy and literature—a research field that attracts growing attention—we focus on the philosophical aspects of literature. Our project tackles the subject of literature’s potential to generate knowledge. In our paper we intend to dwell on self-referential literature. This intriguing dimension of literary expression is associated with works in which self-reflective moves can be traced, that is, texts in which literary writing refers to and reflects on literature itself. The self-reflection of self-referential literature assumes many shapes, affecting in various ways the constitution of both content and form. Thus, our aim becomes twofold. First, we look into variants of literary self-reflection, while pondering the philosophical implications of each of those. Here, we are going to draw on examples from the writings of Stéphane Mallarmé, Paul Valéry, Maurice Blanchot and Clarice Lispector. Second, we propose to consider the necessary conditions and the prospects for obtaining some kind of knowledge by means of self-referential literature. In so doing, we examine alternative conceptions and kinds of knowledge which could be taken into account.
7. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Nellie Wieland Escaping Fiction
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In this paper I argue that a norm of literary fiction is to compel the reader to form beliefs about the world as it is. It may seem wrong to suggest that the reason I believe p is because I imagined p, yet literary fiction can make this the case. I argue for an account grounded in indexed doxastic susceptibilities mapped between a fictional context and the particular properties of a reader, more specifically the susceptibilities in her beliefs, attitudes, and psychological states. Works of fiction can be about different things at the same time, some of which are fictive and some of which are factual. Since belief can be weak or strong, partial or complete, tenuous or robust, opaque or clear, there are susceptibilities throughout a doxastic set out of which new beliefs are formed. Skillful works of fiction exploit these susceptibilities and create new ones. This is an aesthetic achievement of such works: they take what should be a norm-violating practice of belief-formation on the basis of imaginative engagement and they make it so.
8. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Rafe McGregor, Reece Burns Social Science as a Kind of Writing
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The purpose of this paper is twofold: to argue for the value of (1) social science as part of the intellectual activity of writing (rather than righting) and (2) the practice of fi ction to that intellectual activity. Writing is a mode of representation that eludes our complete and objective knowledge and always remains partial and temporary. While righting, in contrast, is concerned with the absolute truth and the revelation of the right answer. This paper argues that writing is a more productive, creative, and necessary way of engaging with reality than righting, and that it can offer insights and perspectives for both theory and praxis. Drawing on Stephen King’s view on writing fiction, this paper will also argue that fiction constitutes a kind of writing and employs a particular form of truth that is conceived as a relation between representation and reality. The paper will conclude by suggesting the need for criminologists—and social scientists more generally—to adopt the perspective of writing to gain a better understanding of the phenomena with which they are concerned.
9. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Dorit Barchana-Lorand The Dark Side of Cultural Sensitivity: Right-Wing Anxiety and Institutional Literary Censorship in Israel
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In their discussion of the interpretation of the literary work of fiction, Peter Lamarque and Stein Haugom Olsen explain that: “Literary appreciation is the appreciation of how a work interprets and develops the general themes which the reader identifies through the application of thematic concepts. […] The thematic concepts are, by themselves, vacuous. They cannot be separated from the way they are ‘anatomized’ in literature and other cultural discourses” (Lamarque and Olsen: 399). The subtle unravelling of the work’s thematic concepts relies on the context of its reception, with its idiosyncratic sensitivities and cultural sensibilities of that time and place. However, cultural sensitivity also has a dark side as it may occasionally ignite a sort of allergic reaction to a work, identifying it as a threat that must be eliminated. My paper examines the case of literary censorship in Israel. Three partially banned works of fiction reflect three aspects of the Israeli right-wing anxiety concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: The futility of sacrificing Israeli soldiers’ lives, the acknowledgement of the Palestinian perspective, and, finally, the possibility of deflecting the animosity between the two nations to a point of allowing for mutual love.
book review
10. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Ema Luna Lalić, Iris Vidmar Jovanović Patrik Engisch and Julia Langkau (eds.), The Philosophy of Fiction: Imagination and Cognition
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11. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 3
Dunja Jutronić Introduction
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12. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 3
Una Stojnić Précis for Context and Coherence:: The Logic and Grammar of Prominence
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This précis outlines some of the key themes in Context and Coherence. At the core of Context and Coherence is the meta-semantic question: what determines the meaning of context-sensitive language and how do we interpret it as effortlessly as we do? What we can express with language is obviously constrained by grammar, but it also seems to depend on various non-linguistic features of an utterance situation, for example, pointing gestures. Accordingly, it is nearly universally assumed that grammar underspecifies content: the interpretation of context-sensitive language depends in part on extra-linguistic features of the utterance situation. Contra this dominant tradition, the book develops and defends a thoroughly linguistic account: context-sensitivity resolution is entirely a matter of grammar, which is much more subtle and pervasive than has typically been noticed. In interpreting context-sensitive language as effortlessly as we do, we draw on our knowledge of these subtle, but pervasive, linguistic cues—what I call discourse conventions. If this is right, the dominant, extra-linguistic account must be rejected. It not only mischaracterizes the linguistic conventions affecting context-sensitivity resolution, but its widespread, and often implicit, endorsement leads to philosophically radical conclusions. The recent arguments for non-truth-conditional and non-classical semantics for modal discourse provide just one illustration of this point. But appeals to context are quite common within a wide range of debates across different subfields of philosophy, and they typically assume the extra-linguistic model of context-sensitivity resolution. If the account of context-sensitivity developed in Context and Coherence is on the right track, such arguments have to be reconsidered.
13. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 3
Peter Pagin Linguistic Conventions or Open-Ended Reasoning: Some Questions for Una Stojnić
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This short paper has the character of a critical notice of Una Stojnić’s book Context and Coherence: The Logic and Grammar of Prominence (Stojnić 2021). It is mainly concerned with Stojnić’s strong claim that linguistic phenomena related to prominence and coherence, in particularthe interpretation of pronouns, are governed by linguistic conventionsand are not pragmatic in nature. On these matters, my views areopposite to Stojnić’s.
14. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 3
Magdalena Kaufmann From Coherence Relations to the Grammar of Pronouns and Tense
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Stojnić (2021) argues that the content of linguistic utterances is determined by the rules of natural language grammar more stringently than what is generally assumed. She proposes specifically that coherence relations are encoded by the linguistic structures and determine what individuals count as most prominent, thereby serving as the referents of free (“demonstrative”) pronouns. In this paper, I take a close look at the empirical evidence from English and Serbian that she offers in support of this position. Considering these data points in connection with additional linguistic data (also from German and Japanese), I argue that there is no compelling evidence for the assumption that coherence relations directly determine the resolution of pronouns. Instead, grammatical restrictions imposed by different types of pronouns and tenses have a larger impact on the meaning conventionally expressed by complex utterances than what is generally assumed in the literature on coherence relations.
15. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 3
Alexandru Radulescu Intentionalism and the Natural Interpretation of Discourses
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Intentionalism is the view that a demonstrative refers to something partly in virtue of the speaker intending it to refer to that thing. In recent work, Una Stojnić has argued that the natural interpretation of demonstratives in some discourses is that they do not refer to the objects intended by the speaker, and instead refer to other things. In this paper, I defend intentionalism against this charge. In particular, I argue that the data presented by Stojnić can be explained from an intentionalist point of view. The explanations take two forms: either the audience’s reaction to the discourse does not concern reference, or the natural interpretation is wrong. This latter claim has been defended by Stojnić in other work as applied to word identification and is neutral between intentionalism and Stojnić’s objectivism. It is also very plausible. But it takes away the import of the argument from natural interpretation, at least in the form discussed here.
16. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 3
Sašo Živanović, Peter Ludlow The Syntax of Prominence
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The standard view on discourse pronoun resolution is that determining the antecedents of discourse pronouns is typically a function of extralinguistic reasoning. In contrast, Stojnić (2021) argues that pronoun resolution is a function of linguistic facts. In this article we offer what we take to be a friendly amendment to the technical aspects of Stojnić’s proposal. Our point of departure will be with our idea that prominence is not determined by the position of the candidate antecedent within a stack, but rather by its position within standard syntactic tree structures, extended to include discourse-level trees. Our proposal leans on the notion of p-scope, a proof-theoretic accessibility relation among tree nodes which we develop in Ludlow and Živanović (2022), and the notion of closeness built on standard accounts of syntactic locality. The key idea is that a pronoun’s antecedent resolves to its closest p-scoper; specifically, p-scope determines the potential antecedents, and the closeness relation orders these by prominence. Coherence relations, which we provisionally represent as syntactic heads, can be then seen as affecting accessibility and prominence indirectly, in virtue of their position in traditional LF tree structures.
17. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 3
Michael Devitt Incoherent Meanings
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18. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 3
Fabrizio Cariani, Michael Glanzberg What is a Tense, Anyway?
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We study three different conceptions of tense emerging from semantics, syntax and morphology, respectively. We investigate how they bear on the question of the relationship between tense and modality as they emerge in Cariani’s The Modal Future (2021).
19. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 3
Acknowledgement to Referees
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20. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 3
Table of Contents of Vol. XXIII
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