Institut Jean Nicod

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Jérôme Pelletier is a philosopher of language who first worked on the semantics of fictional discourse. He then has addressed the more general issue of our experience of fictional content, from the perspectives of the philosophy of mind and analytical aesthetics. He has recently conducted two ANR funded projects with cognitive scientists on some specific aspects of our interactions with fictional works and artifacts such as paintings and moving or fixed photographic images. In collaboration with neuroscientist Stéphanie Dubal, Pelletier has investigated whether paintings are perceived as more aesthetically pleasing, when the paintings were primed with actions compatible to the artists painting style, compared to incompatible movements (AVE ANR 2011-2014). In collaboration with neuroscientist Pascale Piolino, Pelletier has investigated how to characterize our emotion-like responses to silent clips or fixed photographic images presented as depicting fictional scenes in relation to ordinary emotional responses (FICTION ANR 2012-2016).

In the next years, Pelletier will investigate the normative aspects of our experience of fictional works. He will also address the understudied philosophical issue of the relation of fiction to action. And he will re-submit to ANR a new research project with cognitive scientists and climate scientists. This project initiated and coordinated by Pelletier is based on the hypothesis that fiction, relatively to documentaries, would be a better diffusion instrument for building concern for climate change by reducing the psychological distance with climate change while making it emotionally bearable.