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Stacie Friend

Senior Lecturer in Philosophy


Stacie Friend lectures in Philosophy. She taught at Birkbeck from 2005-2007 and rejoined the department in 2014, having taught in between at Heythrop College, University of London. She was a British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellow in 2013-14. She previously lectured at Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania (2003-05) and at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, as a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow (2002-03).

Stacie is the President of the British Society of Aesthetics and an organiser of the London Aesthetics Forum series of talks at the Institute of Philosophy. She has been a Visiting Professor at the Institut Jean-Nicod/Ecole normale supérieure (Paris) and the LOGOS Research Group at the University of Barcelona.

From 2018 to 2021, Stacie will be a co-investigator on a three-year Leverhulme Trust research project on 'Learning from Fiction', with Professor Greg Currie (Philosophy, York) and Dr Heather Ferguson (Psychology, Kent).

Research papers may be found at

Hear a podcast of Stacie's talk at the Moral Sciences Club, University of Cambridge, 'Fiction and Emotion: The Normative Question', at

Hear a podcast of Stacie's talk for the Aristotelian Society, 'Fiction as a Genre', at

Hear a podcast of Stacie discussing Philosophy and Literature with Professors Gregory Currie (Nottingham) and Edward Harcourt (Keble College, Oxford) on the Philosophy Now radio show at

See a video of Stacie's comments at the 'Reference and the Elusive Self' workshop on John Perry's latest work in Donostia, Spain (2014) at

Research Activity

  • Stacie's research has focused primarily on issues at the intersection of aesthetics, mind and language, especially as these pertain to problems raised by our engagement with fictional narratives and fictional characters.
  • She has published on empty names, the nature of fiction, the metaphysics of fictional characters, emotional responses to fiction and tragedy, and the cognitive values of fiction and literature.
  • She is currently engaged in research concerning how we learn from fiction. Other projects include an analysis of the role of fiction and imagination in scientific modelling.

Selected Publications

  • ‘Elucidating the Truth in Criticism’, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 75 (2017): 387-399
  • ‘The Real Foundation of Fictional Worlds’, Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (2017): 29-42
  • ‘Notions of Nothing’, in Empty Representations: Reference and Non-Existence, edited by Manuel García-Carpintero and Genoveva Martí, Oxford University Press (2014)
  • ‘Believing in Stories’, in Aesthetics and the Sciences of Mind, edited by Gregory Currie, Matthew Kieran, Aaron Meskin, and Jon Robson. Oxford University Press (2014)
  • ‘Fiction as a Genre’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 112 (2012): 179-209
  • ‘Fictive Utterance and Imagining II’, Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume 85 (2011): 163-80
  • ‘The Great Beetle Debate: A Study in Imagining with Names’, Philosophical Studies 153 (2011): 183-211
  • ‘Getting Carried Away’, Midwest Studies in Philosophy, Vol. XXXIV: Film and the Emotions, edited by Peter French and Howard Wettstein. Wiley-Blackwell (2010): 77-105

Research Supervision

  • Aesthetics, language, and mind, especially (but not exclusively) where these are related to fiction, literature, film, reference/intentionality, and non-existence
  • Some topics that students are researching include learning from fiction, non-existence, natural kind terms and aesthetic appreciation


Please contact me by email to arrange a suitable time.