Fiction and Knowledge: From General to Special Hermeneutics
In cooperation with “The Doctoral Studies Centre” at the Faculty of Letters and Humanities, Tetouan (Abdelmalek Essaadi University), and in partnership with “The Moroccan and Andalusian Studies Forum” (Arabic Department), “The Theatre Research Group” (English Department), and “The Cinematic and Audio-visual Research Group” (French Department), “The Hermeneutics and Text Linguistics Laboratory” organises the Second International Forum for Researchers in Doctoral Studies Centres under the theme: Fiction and Knowledge: From General to Special Hermeneutics.
The forum will open with a lecture delivered by Professor Dr. Abdullah Ibrahim about his “narrative masterpiece”, followed by an open scientific panel.
The event will be held at the faculty of letters and Humanities, Tetouan on 23, 24, and 25 June 2020 under the supervision of a group of academics and experts from inside and outside Morocco.
As the issue of fiction and knowledge has been, since the Greeks, a subject of inquiry, this intellectual paper seeks to interrogate the relationship between the two, connecting all to hermeneutics. To explain, when one gets back to the age of mythical thought, one finds that the world was set on fiction, not on abstraction.
However, this reflection will be replaced by two other philosophies; one is characterized by the predominance of abstraction, which sets boundaries between things with the precision and rigor of inference, and the other by re-taking into account fiction and the poetic phrase in the formulation of perceptions and visions of the world. Here, we are dealing with two distinct attitudes.
The first questions the value of knowledge that can spring from fiction, or at best makes inaccurate knowledge, which is a pure preoccupation of the former based on the perceived rather than the conceptual. The second is not limited to fiction in relation to the production of knowledge only, but can rather reach a number of basic means in the formulation of truth in its various forms, without abandoning its ancient roots as they are manifested in obsolete human thinking patterns.
Human experience is so complex and compound that it cannot be comprehended by one-sided perceptions. In fact, diverse conceptions have a share of legitimacy in illuminating ambiguous aspects of that experience, including those based on fiction. According to this perception, Man is convinced that there is a lack of abstract thought that prevents him from reaching an understanding of the world aspects. He believes that he needs to soar up higher in fiction to be able to represent and interpret some of these worldly aspects.
Since the first signs of thought were lit back in the dawn of history, interpretation has shifted from the substitution of truth to the substitution of meaning. It aims at reaching meanings and hermeneutics instead of asking for facts that are not coveted, or can be proved only within certain limits hovering over the circle of relativism.
This idea is further reinforced when we realise the need to move from general hermeneutics to specific hermeneutics and the need to acknowledge human experiences in the light of specific field perceptions.
Interpreting fiction is a form of our knowledge of the world that can be included in the specific hermeneutic frame. Knowledge, in this case the one that is produced, is also a specific knowledge influenced by the basis of fictional customs which are characterized by the kinds of fiction to which it belongs. When we talk about fiction in this context, we mean all the forms of creation of the world that are deemed to represent and interpret it.
Thus, fiction is not only limited to literature and its art forms such as poetry and narration, but also to all forms of art as such in producing words, acts, symbols and signs, including visual art, theatre, cinema, photography, sculpture and contemporary art.
We can think of the relationship of fiction to knowledge in light of the following questions:
The first question relates to the ability of fiction to produce knowledge and the ways in which it proceeds. It also has to do with another question: How does fiction itself define knowledge of the world? (Where all types of fiction, and all the hermeneutic readings that converge with the works of poetry, narrative, visual (theatre and cinema) or plastic arts are included).
The second question relates to the way in which fiction is used in its various intellectual references, such as philosophy, science, history, culture, etc., and in the ways in which knowledge is spread within its fictional fabric.
The third question relates to the fields of knowledge, that are close to the art of fiction, in order to extract knowledge from them and to have them transformed into concepts and ideas that respond to their field standards and accurate epistemological patterns, just like in psychoanalysis that considers the novel and myth as material that produces knowledge related to scientific components par excellence.
Following this pattern, philosophy has benefited from poetry, narration and myth, building their patterns and supporting their knowledge and concepts, with inference.
The previous questions require a vision from the angle of substituting hermeneutics and their requirements in order to take into consideration the various hermeneutic patterns and the distinctive characteristics which form its knowledge of the world, as well as the way it is understood and perceived with regards to the formulas producing its qualitative facts. How do these fictional patterns interact with interpretations derived from pure knowledge? Based on the above, we propose the following research topics:
– The participant ought to be either a graduate student or post-doctoral researcher whose PhD has been completed less than three years previously. Researchers without PhDs who have been in an academic post for less than three years also qualify as potential participants.
– The study should not have been published or sent to any form of publication, paper or digital; or have been submitted for participating in a seminar or conference.
– The researcher should send their abstract according to the laboratory form.
– Submit a short biography accompanied by a copy of the registration certificate, or a copy of PhD certificate.
– A number of experts and academics will participate in conducting the workshops;
– The laboratory is committed to provide food and accommodation.
Laboratory of Hermeneutics and Text Linguistics
Abdelmalek Essaadi University – Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences
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