Facts, Fiction, <i>Ficciones</i>

Edith Wyschogrod

in Crossover Queries

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print June 2006 | ISBN: 9780823226061
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235148 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

Facts, Fiction, Ficciones

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  • Philosophy of Religion


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What is it that we ask for when we ask for truth in the study of religion? The Enlightenment account of time promises a full recovery of events by stationing the observer outside of time or placing the observer in control of time by making time part of her computational scheme. In this view, time is made up of homogeneous units, so that it does not matter where the observer stands. The price is immediacy. The direct apprehension of a luminous object of contemplation or the sensory flooding of conscious awareness gives way to accuracy, the manner of being of the represented object. The study of religion is involved in this romance of facts in a special way. If the notion of fact reflects the effort to say what is, fiction attempts to imagine what is not, to bring absence into presence, to construct a world that does not exist. Fictions with such characteristics have metamorphosed into ficciones, the term Jorge Luis Borges, as a spinner of metaphysical conceits, applies to his stories.

Keywords: religion; fact; fiction; ficciones; Jorge Luis Borges; truth

Chapter.  6209 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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