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

  • November 30 : Hypocrisy
    Hypocrites believe one thing, but do another. Jefferson opposed slavery, but owned slaves. Jesus professed universal love, but cursed an innocent fig...
  • December 7 : The Lure of Immortality
    Would you like to live forever? It is a tempting notion that has been explored and imagined for centuries. Perhaps immortality is...
  • December 14 : Gut Feelings and the Art of Decision-Making
    We may think of ourselves as rational decision-makers, but we often base even high-stakes decisions on intuitions or "gut feelings" rather than...
  • December 21 : Humanity Violated
    Humans tend to treat other humans who differ from them, even in seemingly small and insignificant ways, as less than fully human. Our tendency to...
  • December 28 : Prostitution and the Sex Trade
    Some consider the commodification of sexual services inherently wrong, something that ought to be abolished outright. Others claim that prostitution...

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!