On the rhetorical function of fictional worlds

  • David Spencer

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This dissertation presents a rhetorical model for fictive discourse grounded in possible worlds theory and modal logic. In a polemic sense this model offers challenge to a discursive hierarchy that deprivileges fiction as empty of truth-value, denying it dialectic or rhetorical force. To this end, the claim of this thesis is to two pragmatic functions for fiction. The first is a philosophical or dialectic function, by which fictional texts are taken as constituting assertions about what is possibly or necessarily the case. The second is a rhetorical function by which such assertions, evaluated by an agent, generate truths at the world of the text.
    Date of Award2013
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorAdam Dickerson (Supervisor) & Paul Magee (Supervisor)

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