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||We routinely appear to quantify over and refer to fictionals characters. For example, it appears to be true that there are
characters in some 19th-century novels who are presented with a greater wealth
of physical detail than is any character in any 18th-century novel. Such reference and quantification appears to commit us to an ontology of fictional characters. But what are these things? A clue and another argument for realism is that it is true that Conan Doyle created Sherlock Holmes. So fictional characters look to be artifacts, but how can this be? Realists about fictional characters try to provide a clear account of the nature of these characters. The realist, however, faces a problem since it is also true that Sherlock Holmes does not exist. So there seem to be sentences that pull us to realism and sentences that push us toward irrealism.
||Parsons 1980 provides an account of fictional characters as eternal Meinongian non-existent objects. Construed as such, fictional characters have clear identity conditions. Such a treatment is found by many to be implausible in the extreme. A more popular view treats fictional characters as created. Kripke 2013 provides the intuitive case for an ontology of fictional characters as abstract artifacts. Thomasson 1999 takes up these themes and develops them in more detail. Such realism faces two serious threats, both of which have been pushed by Anthony Everett. First, how can the realist account for true fictional negative existentials (Everett 2007), second can they provide a coherent metaphysics (Everett 2005)?
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- Fred Adams, Gary Fuller & Robert Stecker (1997). The Semantics of Fictional Names. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 78 (2):128–148.
- Kent Bach (1985/1986). Failed Reference and Feigned Reference. Grazer Philosophische Studien 25:359-374.
- Jay E. Bachrach (1991). Fictional Objects in Literature and Mental Representations. British Journal of Aesthetics 31 (2):134-139.
- H. Gene Blocker (1974). The Truth About Fictional Entities. Philosophical Quarterly 24 (94):27-36.
- Paul Bloom (2006). What Does Batman Think About SpongeBob? Children's Understanding of the Fantasy/Fantasy Distinction. Cognition 101 (1):9-18.
- Stuart Brock (2002). Fictionalism About Fictional Characters. Noûs 36 (1):1–21.
- Stuart Ross Brock (2002). Creatures of Fiction. Dissertation, Princeton University
- Curtis Brown (1992). Charles Crittenden, Unreality: The Metaphysics of Fictional Objects. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 12 (3):177-179.
- Jeff Buechner (2011). Fictional Entities and Augmented Reality: A Metaphysical Impossibility Result. Journal of Evolution and Technology 22 (1):53-72.
- Tim Button (2012). Spotty Scope and Our Relation to Fictions. Noûs 46 (2):243-58.
- Jean Andre Cadieux (1976). The Ontological Status of Fictional Entities. Dissertation, University of Minnesota
- Ross P. Cameron (2013). A Fictional Realist. In Christy Mag Uidhir (ed.), Art and Abstract Objects. Oxford University Press 179.
- B. Caplan & C. Muller (forthcoming). Against a Defense of Fictional Realism. Philosophical Quarterly.
- Ben Caplan (2004). Creatures of Fiction, Myth, and Imagination. American Philosophical Quarterly 41 (4):331-337.
- W. R. Carter (1980). Do Creatures of Fiction Exist? Philosophical Studies 38 (2):205 - 215.
- Roberto Casati & Achille C. Varzi (2000). All the Things You Are. In Gabriele Usberti (ed.), Modi dell’oggettività. Bompiani 77–85.
- Arkadiusz Chrudzimski (2005). Brentano Husserl Und Ingarden Über Die Intentionalen Gegenstände. In Existence, Culture, and Persons: The Ontology of Roman Ingarden. Ontos
- Ralph W. Clark (1980). Fictional Entities: Talking About Them and Having Feelings About Them. Philosophical Studies 38 (4):341 - 349.
- David Conter (1991). Fictional Names and Narrating Characters. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 69 (3):319 – 328.
- Gabriele Contessa (2012). Sweet Nothings. Analysis 72 (2):354-366.
- Gabriele Contessa (2009). Who is Afraid of Imaginary Objects? In Nicholas Griffin & Dale Jacquette (eds.), Russell Vs. Meinong: The Legacy of "On Denoting". Routledge
- Charles Crittenden (1993). Unreality: The Metaphysics of Fictional Objects. Philosophical Review 102 (4):608-611.
- Gregory Currie (1997). On Being Fictional. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 55 (4):425-427.
- Gregory Currie (1990). The Nature of Fiction. Cambridge University Press.
- Gregory Currie (1988). Fictional Names. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 66 (4):471 – 488.
- Gregory Currle (2003). Characters and Contingency. Dialectica 57 (2):137–148.
- Francis W. Dauer (1995). The Nature of Fictional Characters and the Referential Fallacy. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 53 (1):31-38.
- Genevieve Diana Demme-Woodward (1982). Fictitious Entities. Dissertation, Temple University
- Lisa Elliott (1979). Three Paradoxes of Fiction: A Study in the Logic of Fictional Language. Dissertation, Columbia University
- Anthony Everett (2014). Sainsbury on Thinking About Fictional Things. Acta Analytica 29 (2):181-194.
- Anthony Everett (2013). The Nonexistent. OUP Oxford.
- Anthony Everett (2007). Pretense, Existence, and Fictional Objects. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):56–80.
- Anthony Everett (2005). Against Fictional Realism. Journal of Philosophy 102 (12):624 - 649.
- William Flesch (2010). What We Think About When We Think About Fictional Characters. Symploke 18 (1):327-332.
- Matthieu Fontaine & Shahid Rahman (2014). Towards a Semantics for the Artifactual Theory of Fiction and Beyond. Synthese 191 (3):499-516.
- Cheryl Foster & Arto Haapala (2001). Living with Anna Karenina. On the Ontology of Literary Characters. Nordic Journal of Aesthetics 13 (23).
- Stacie Friend (2011). The Great Beetle Debate: A Study in Imagining with Names. Philosophical Studies 153 (2):183-211.
- Stacie Friend (2007). Fictional Characters. Philosophy Compass 2 (2):141–156.
- Michael Edward Gettings (1999). The Ontology of Fiction. Dissertation, University of California, Santa Barbara
- Stavroula Glezakos (forthcoming). Truth and Reference in Fiction. In Gillian Russell & Delia Graff Fara (eds.), Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Language. Routledge
- Jeffrey Goodman (2013). Creatures of Fiction, Objects of Myth. Analysis 74 (1):ant090.
- Jeffrey Goodman (2005). Defending Author-Essentialism. Philosophy and Literature 29 (1):200-208.
- Jeffrey Goodman (2004). A Defense of Creationism in Fiction. Grazer Philosophische Studien 67 (1):131-155.
- Jeffrey Goodman (2003). Where is Sherlock Holmes? Southern Journal of Philosophy 41 (2):183-197.
- Jacek Gurczyński (2011). Deflacyjne (redukcyjne) koncepcje przedmiotów fikcyjnych. Przegląd i analiza. Filozofia Nauki 1.
- Richard Hanley (2003). Much Ado About Nothing: Critical Realism Examined. Philosophical Studies 115 (2):123 - 147.
- Richard Harland (1995). So How Many Children Did Lady Macbeth Have? Syntagmatic Theory and the Construal of Fictional Worlds. Literature & Aesthetics 5:86-97.
- Reina Hayaki (2009). Fictional Characters as Abstract Objects: Some Questions. American Philosophical Quarterly 46 (2):141 - 149.
- Allison Jill Hepola, The Metaphysics of Interpretation.
- Michael Hicks (2010). A Note on Pretense and Co-Reference. Philosophical Studies 149 (3):395 - 400.
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