Institut Jean Nicod

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Doc’in Nicod


Séminaire doctoral et postdoctoral de l’Institut Jean-Nicod. 

Doc’in Nicod est un séminaire bihebdomadaire, ouvert au public, qui donne l’occasion aux jeunes chercheurs, doctorants et post-doctorants de l’IJN de recevoir un retour sur leurs travaux en cours de la part de leurs collègues étudiants diplômés et chercheurs de l’Institut. Chaque session sera commentée par un chercheur de l’IJN.

Lieu : Salle de réunion de l’Institut Jean-Nicod, ENS, 29 rue d’Ulm, 75005 Paris

Contact : Armando Lavalle ou Hualin Xiao



Sessions Passées



Merel Semeijn (University of Groningen)

"Interactive fiction and breaking the fourth wall"

7 Décembre, de 12h à 13h30

Commentateur : Ori Simchen

Philosophers of fiction often take fiction novels (e.g. the Sherlock Holmes novels) as their primary examples of fiction. Recently, however, some have voiced dissatisfaction with this focus. The concern is that a comprehensive philosophy of fiction should also pay attention to other types of fiction practices such as paintings, comic books, movies, theatre, pretend play, LARPing, (video) games, etc. In this talk, I will present plans for future research. I want to explore whether and how concepts, analyses, and insights from my Ph.D. research (which also focused mostly on fiction novels) might be extended to other types of fiction practices. After giving an overview of possible research directions I will, in the second part of the talk, focus on one potential project. I will discuss the phenomenon of breaking the fourth wall (something that is typically found in theatre or film), i.e. when a character in some fiction somehow makes reference to the fictionality of the world that they are in. I will propose an analysis of breaking the fourth wall as ‘fictional metafictional statements’.


Hugo Hogenbirk (University of Groningen)

"Currie and Le Poidevin at the Arcades : A case for presentism in game fictions"

7 Décembre, de 15h30 à 17h

Commentateur : Jérôme Pelletier

In this talk I argue that game fictions differ from other types of fiction in what the metaphysical status of these fiction’s timelines is. It has been argued that fictional timelines should be understood as a B-series of events (Currie 1992, Le Poidevin 1988/2001). However, I argue video game fiction’s timelines are best understood as an A-series. The now of the player and the now of the fiction coincide ; a view dubbed presentism. The now of the player ties directly into the fictional now because the player is not only shown a fiction, but is also (in their own now) influencing this fiction. Against presentism, Currie (1992) levies cases of anachrony (flash-backs/flash-forwards). Against this I argue that games exhibit only quasi-anachrony, and I identify 3 particular types of quasi-anachrony. Le Poidevin (2001) argues there are occurrences in fiction that imply the closedness of the fictional future (and thus its B-series nature). Against this I argue that there are similarly occurrences of phenomena in game fictions that suggest an open future. The article closes by suggesting that the object of fictional truths of games should be indexed on playthroughs (Willis 2019) and that this is best understood as made possible by a relation of ’co-authoring’.