Show

How Fiction Shapes Us

Week of: 
November 25, 2012
What is it: 

A good novel can do many things. It can distract us from the humdrum of daily existence, stimulate our imaginations, and delight us with its creative use of language. But isn’t there something more we gain from engaging with fictional worlds and characters? Do we, for example, use literary texts to morally improve ourselves? Is there some deeper truth we’re supposed to learn from a good novel? Or do we use fiction to fine-tune certain cognitive capacities? John and Ken entertain the possibilities with Joshua Landy, author of How To Do Things With Fictions, for a program recorded live at Litquake – San Francisco's Literary Festival.

Joshua Landy, Professor of French, Stanford University

Bonus Content: 

 

VIDEO: Opening montage

VIDEO: Watch the complete program

MUSIC: The Plāto'nes, I'm Going to Write a Novel

MUSIC: The Plāto'nes, When I Write the Book

Get Philosophy Talk

Radio

Sunday at 10am, PST, KALW, 91.7 FM, Local Public Radio, San Francisco

Podcast

Individual Downloads  via CdBaby or Itunes.  Multipacks and The Complete Philosophy Talk via Iamplify

John Perry and Ken Taylor

Continue the Conversation

Sidebar Menu

Upcoming Shows

  • February 1 : Food Justice
    The number of chronically hungry people in the world is over 800 million, yet developed countries are facing health challenges from rising rates of...
  • February 8 : Regulating Bodies
    Most countries allow their citizens to smoke cigarettes, get intoxicated, and eat unhealthy food – despite the harms that such behaviors may bring to...
  • February 15 : Cyber-Activism
    Whether it's making donations and signing petitions online, or using social media to highlight political causes, cyber-activism has never been easier...
  • February 22 : The Evolution of Storytelling
    Humans are unique as the only creatures on this planet who tell stories. Whether it be fiction, history, mythology, gossip, daydreams, news, or...
  • March 1 : Camus and the Absurd
    Albert Camus is most famous for his existential works of fiction including The Stranger as well as his philosophical essay The Myth of Sisyphus. He...

Support Philosophy Talk

DONATE TODAY

Philosophy Talk relies on the support of listeners like you to stay on the air and online. Any contribution, large or small, helps us produce intelligent, reflective radio that questions everything, including our most deeply-held beliefs about science, morality, culture, and the human condition. Make your tax-deductible contribution now through Stanford University's secure online donation page. Thank you for your support, and thank you for thinking!