A puzzle about fiction and belief

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Steven Fielding's new book on the representation of British politics in fiction contains the following from Geoffrey Howe, Cabinet Minister whose resignation precipitated the fall of Mrs Thatcher. He had been watching a dramatization of these events on TV:

Professor David Armstrong - obituary

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Professor David Malet Armstrong, July 8, 1926 - May 13, 2014

David Armstrong, who died at the age of 87, was probably Australia’s most distinguished philosopher. His book A Materialist Theory of the Mind (1968) was a founding document in Australian materialism, a philosophy which seeks an account of the world and all that is in it without appeal to anything beyond the physical.