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  1. Bradley Armour-Garb (forthcoming). New Problems for Modal Fictionalism. Philosophical Studies:1-19.
    In this paper, after clarifying certain features of Gideon Rosen’s Modal Fictionalism, I raise two problems for that view and argue that these problems strongly suggest that advocates of a “Deflationist Strategy” ought not to endorse, or adopt Rosen-style Modal Fictionalism.
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  2. Bradley Armour-Garb & James A. Woodbridge (forthcoming). Pretense and Pathology: Philosophical Fictionalism and its Applications. Cambridge University Press.
    This book offers new insights into fictionalism as an approach in philosophy and explains how applying a particular fictionalist strategy both dissolves the semantic pathology that appears to plague the traditional semantic notions (e.g., the worries about truth that the Liar Paradox and the Truthteller generate) and promises to resolve further puzzles and problems that arise from ordinary existence-talk and identity-talk. In addition, after raising concerns for realism about propositions, the book also provides a fictionalist account of talk that seems (...)
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  3. Bradley Armour-Garb & James A. Woodbridge (2010). Why Deflationists Should Be Pretense Theorists (and Perhaps Already Are). In Cory D. Wright & Nikolaj J. L. L. Pedersen (eds.), New Waves in Truth. Palgrave Macmillan.
    In this paper, we do two things. First, we clarify the notion of deflationism, with special attention to deflationary accounts of truth. Seocnd, we argue that one who endorses a deflationary account of truth (or of semantic notions, generally) should be, or perhaps already is, a pretense theorist regarding truth-talk. In §1 we discuss mathematical fictionalism, where we focus on Yablo’s pretense account of mathematical discourse. §2 briefly introduces the key elements of deflationism and explains deflationism about truth in particular. (...)
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  4. Bradley Armour‐Garb & James A. Woodbridge (2014). From Mathematical Fictionalism to Truth‐Theoretic Fictionalism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (1):93-118.
    We argue that if Stephen Yablo (2005) is right that philosophers of mathematics ought to endorse a fictionalist view of number-talk, then there is a compelling reason for deflationists about truth to endorse a fictionalist view of truth-talk. More specifically, our claim will be that, for deflationists about truth, Yablo’s argument for mathematical fictionalism can be employed and mounted as an argument for truth-theoretic fictionalism.
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  5. Simon Blackburn (2005). Quasi-Realism No Fictionalism. In Mark Eli Kalderon (ed.), Fictionalism in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. 322--338.
  6. Ross P. Cameron (2013). How to Be a Nominalist and a Fictional Realist. In Christy Mag Uidhir (ed.), Art and Abstract Objects. Oxford University Press. 179.
  7. Chris John Daly (2008). Fictionalism and the Attitudes. Philosophical Studies 139 (3):423 - 440.
    This paper distinguishes revolutionary fictionalism from other forms of fictionalism and also from other philosophical views. The paper takes fictionalism about mathematical objects and fictionalism about scientific unobservables as illustrations. The paper evaluates arguments that purport to show that this form of fictionalism is incoherent on the grounds that there is no tenable distinction between believing a sentence and taking the fictionalist's distinctive attitude to that sentence. The argument that fictionalism about mathematics is ‘comically immodest’ is also evaluated. In place (...)
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  8. John Dilworth (2002). The Fictionality of Plays. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 60 (3):263–273.
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  9. Cian Dorr (2008). There Are No Abstract Objects. In Theodore Sider, John Hawthorne & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics. Blackwell.
    I explicate and defend the claim that, fundamentally speaking, there are no numbers, sets, properties or relations. The clarification consists in some remarks on the relevant sense of ‘fundamentally speaking’ and the contrasting sense of ‘superficially speaking’. The defence consists in an attempt to rebut two arguments for the existence of such entities. The first is a version of the indispensability argument, which purports to show that certain mathematical entities are required for good scientific explanations. The second is a speculative (...)
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  10. Cian Dorr (2005). What We Disagree About When We Disagree About Ontology. In Mark Eli Kalderon (ed.), Fictionalism in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. 234--86.
    In this paper I attempt two things. First, I argue that one can coherently imagine different communities using languages structurally similar to English, but in which the meanings of the quantifiers vary, so that the answers to ontological questions, such as ‘Under what circumstances do some things compose something?’, are different. Second, I argue that nevertheless, one can make sense of the idea that of the various possible assignments of meanings to the quantifiers, one is especially fundamental, so that there (...)
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  11. Cian Dorr & Gideon Rosen (2002). Composition as a Fiction. In Richard Gale (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to Metaphysics. Blackwell. 151--174.
    Region R Question: How many objects — entities, things — are contained in R? Ignore the empty space. Our question might better be put, 'How many material objects does R contain?' Let's stipulate that A, B and C are metaphysical atoms: absolutely simple entities with no parts whatsoever besides themselves. So you don't have to worry about counting a particle's top half and bottom half as different objects. Perhaps they are 'point-particles', with no length, width or breadth. Perhaps they are (...)
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  12. Antony Eagle (2007). Telling Tales. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 107 (1pt2):125 - 147.
    Utterances within the context of telling fictional tales that appear to be assertions are nevertheless not to be taken at face value. The present paper attempts to explain exactly what such 'pseudo-assertions' are, and how they behave. Many pseudo-assertions can take on multiple roles, both within fictions and in what I call 'participatory criticism' of a fiction, especially when they occur discourse-initially. This fact, taken together with problems for replacement accounts of pseudo-assertion based on the implicit prefixing of an 'in (...)
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  13. Terence Rajivan Edward (2011). Are There Uncontroversial Error Theories? Philosophical Pathways (162).
    This paper evaluates an argument for the meta-philosophical conclusion that in order to produce a viable objection to a particular error theory, the objection must not be applicable to any error theory. The reason given for this conclusion is that error theories about some discourses are uncontroversial. But the examples given of uncontroversial error theories are not good ones, nor do there appear to be other examples available.
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  14. Matti Eklund (2005). Fiction, Indifference, and Ontology. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (3):557-579.
    When philosophers make claims of the form “Fs are fictions”, what they say is often ambiguous in a crucial way. On one way of understanding it, it has clear ontological implications: there are not really any such things as Fs. But there is also a different, non-ontological way of understanding the claim: as merely asserting that F-assertions are normally made in a fictional spirit. Clearly one can hold that we normally make statements about Fs in a fictional spirit while also (...)
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  15. Matti Eklund (2005). Fiction, Indifference, and Ontology. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (3):557–579.
    In this paper I outline an alternative to hermeneutic fictionalism, an alternative I call indifferentism, with the same advantages as hermeneutic fictionalism with respect to ontological issues but avoiding some of the problems that face fictionalism. The difference between indifferentism and fictionalism is this. The fictionalist about ordinary utterances of a sentence S holds, with more orthodox views, that the speaker in some sense commits herself to the truth of S. It is only that for the fictionalist this is truth (...)
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  16. Anthony Everett (2007). Pretense, Existence, and Fictional Objects. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):56–80.
    There has recently been considerable interest in accounts of fiction which treat fictional characters as abstract objects. In this paper I argue against this view. More precisely I argue that such accounts are unable to accommodate our intuitions that fictional negative existentials such as “Raskolnikov doesn’t exist” are true. I offer a general argument to this effect and then consider, but reject, some of the accounts of fictional negative existentials offered by abstract object theorists. I then note that some of (...)
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  17. Richard Gale (ed.) (2002). The Blackwell Companion to Metaphysics. Blackwell.
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  18. Nadeem Hussain (2010). Error Theory and Fictionalism. In John Skorupski (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Ethics. Routledge.
    This paper surveys contemporary accounts of error theory and fictionalism. It introduces these categories to those new to metaethics by beginning with moral nihilism, the view that nothing really is right or wrong. One main motivation is that the scientific worldview seems to have no place for rightness or wrongness. Within contemporary metaethics there is a family of theories that makes similar claims. These are the theories that are usually classified as forms of error theory or fictionalism though there are (...)
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  19. Brendan Jackson (2007). Truth Vs. Pretense in Discourse About Motion (or, Why the Sun Really Does Rise). Noûs 41 (2):298–317.
    These days it is widely agreed that there is no such thing as absolute motion and rest; the motion of an object can only be characterized with respect to some chosen frame of reference.1 This is a fact of which many of us are well-aware, and yet a cursory consideration of the ways we ascribe motion to objects gives the impression that it is a fact we persistently ignore. We insist to the police officer that we came to a full (...)
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  20. Andrew Kenneth Jorgensen (2010). The Sky Over Canberra: Folk Discourse and Serious Metaphysics. Philosophia 38 (2):365-383.
    I take up the task of examining how someone who takes seriously the ambitious programme of conceptual analysis advocated by the Canberra School can minimise the eliminative consequences which I argue the Ramsey-Carnap-Lewis recipe of conceptual analysis is likely to have for many folk discourses. The objective is to find a stable means to preserve the constative appearance of folk discourse and to find it generally successful in its attempts to describe an external world, albeit in non-scientific terms that do (...)
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  21. Richard Joyce (2005). Moral Fictionalism. In Mark Eli Kalderon (ed.), Fictionalism in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. 14-17.
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  22. Mark Eli Kalderon (ed.) (2005). Fictionalism in Metaphysics. Clarendon Press.
    This volume represents a major benchmark in the debate: it brings together an impressive international team of contributors, whose essays (all but one of them ...
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  23. Christopher Kennedy & Jason Stanley (2009). On 'Average'. Mind 118 (471):583 - 646.
    This article investigates the semantics of sentences that express numerical averages, focusing initially on cases such as 'The average American has 2.3 children'. Such sentences have been used both by linguists and philosophers to argue for a disjuncture between semantics and ontology. For example, Noam Chomsky and Norbert Hornstein have used them to provide evidence against the hypothesis that natural language semantics includes a reference relation holding between words and objects in the world, whereas metaphysicians such as Joseph Melia and (...)
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  24. Seahwa Kim (2005). Modal Fictionalism and Analysis. In Mark Eli Kalderon (ed.), Fictionalism in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. 116.
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  25. Frederick Kroon (2001). Fictionalism and the Informativeness of Identity. Philosophical Studies 106 (3):197 - 225.
    Identity claims often look nonsensical because they apparently declare distinct things to be identical. I argue that this appearance is not just an artefact of grammar. We should be fictionalists about such claims, seeing them against the background of speakers' pretense that their words secure reference to a plurality of objects that are then declared to be identical from within the pretense. I argue that it is the resulting interpretative tension – arising from the fact that two things can never (...)
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  26. Mary Leng (2005). Revolutionary Fictionalism: A Call to Arms. Philosophia Mathematica 13 (3):277-293.
    This paper responds to John Burgess's ‘Mathematics and Bleak House’. While Burgess's rejection of hermeneutic fictionalism is accepted, it is argued that his two main attacks on revolutionary fictionalism fail to meet their target. Firstly, ‘philosophical modesty’ should not prevent philosophers from questioning the truth of claims made within successful practices, provided that the utility of those practices as they stand can be explained. Secondly, Carnapian scepticism concerning the meaningfulness of metaphysical existence claims has no force against a naturalized version (...)
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  27. David Lewis (2005). Quasi-Realism is Fictionalism. In Mark Eli Kalderon (ed.), Fictionalism in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. 314-321.
  28. David Liggins (2010). The Autism Objection to Pretence Theories. Philosophical Quarterly 60 (241):764-782.
    A pretence theory of a discourse is one which claims that we do not believe or assert the propositions expressed by the sentences we utter when taking part in the discourse: instead, we are speaking from within a pretence. Jason Stanley argues that if a pretence account of a discourse is correct, people with autism should be incapable of successful participation in it; but since people with autism are capable of participiating successfully in the discourses which pretence theorists aim to (...)
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  29. Inga Nayding (2013). Figurative Language in Explanation. Disputatio 5 (35):2013.
    Yablo argued that some metaphors are representationally essential: they enable us to express contents that we would not be able to express without them. He defended a fictionalist view of mathematical language by making the case that it similarly serves as a representational aid. Against this, Colyvan argued that metaphorical/figurative language can never play an essential role in explanation and that mathematical language often does, hence concluding that Yablo’s fictionalism is untenable. I show that Colyvan’s thesis about explanation is highly (...)
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  30. Daniel Nolan (2005). Fictionalist Attitudes About Fictional Matters. In Mark Eli Kalderon (ed.), Fictionalism in Metaphysics. Clarendon Press. 204.
    A pressing problem for many non-realist1 theories concerning various specific subject matters is the challenge of making sense of our ordinary propositional attitude claims related to the subject in question. Famously in the case of ethics, to take one example, we have in ordinary language prima facie ascriptions of beliefs and desires involving moral properties and relationships. In the case, for instance, of “Jason believes that Kylie is virtuous”, we appear to have a belief which takes Kylie to be a (...)
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  31. Daniel Nolan (1997). Three Problems for “Strong” Modal Fictionalism. Philosophical Studies 87 (3):259-275.
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  32. Daniel Nolan & John O'Leary-Hawthorne (1996). Reflexive Fictionalisms. Analysis 56 (1):23–32.
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  33. T. Parent (2013). In the Mental Fiction, Mental Fictionalism is Fictitious. The Monist 96 (4):605-621.
    Here I explore the prospects for fictionalism about the mental, modeled after fictionalism about possible worlds. Mental fictionalism holds that the mental states posited by folk psychology do not exist, yet that some sentences of folk psychological discourse are true. This is accomplished by construing truths of folk psychology as “truths according to the mentalistic fiction.” After formulating the view, I identify five ways that the view appears self-refuting. Moreover, I argue that this cannot be fixed by semantic ascent or (...)
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  34. Gideon Rosen (2005). Problems in the History of Fictionalism. In Mark Eli Kalderon (ed.), Fictionalism in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. 14--64.
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  35. R. M. Sainsbury (2009). Fiction and Fictionalism. Routledge.
    Introduction -- What is fiction? -- Realism about fictional objects -- Fictional objects are nonexistents -- Worlds and truth : fictional worlds, possible worlds, and impossible worlds -- Fictional entities are abstract artifacts -- Irrealism : fiction and intentionality -- Some fictionalists -- Fictionalism about possible worlds -- Moral fictionalism -- Retrospect.
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  36. Andrea Sauchelli (forthcoming). Buddhist Reductionism, Fictionalism About the Self, and Buddhist Fictionalism. Philosophy East and West 67 (2).
    I discuss an interpretation, recently proposed by Mark Siderits, of the claim that within the Buddhist tradition the self is a convenient fiction. I subsequently propose a novel approach to fictionalism in contemporary metaphysics, outline an application of such an approach to the case of the self and then specify one version of fictionalism combined with some basic tenets of Buddhism.
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  37. Andrea Sauchelli (2013). Modal Fictionalism, Possible Worlds, and Artificiality. Acta Analytica 28 (4):411-21.
    Accounts of modality in terms of fictional possible worlds face an objection based on the idea that when modal claims are analysed in terms of fictions, the connection between analysans and analysandum seems artificial. Strong modal fictionalism, the theory according to which modal claims are analysed in terms of a fiction, has been defended by, among others, Seahwa Kim, who has recently claimed that the philosophical objection that the connection between modality and fictions is artificial can be met. I propose (...)
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  38. Deena Skolnick & Paul Bloom (2006). What Does Batman Think About Spongebob? Children's Understanding of the Fantasy/Fantasy Distinction. Cognition 101 (1):B9-B18.
  39. Jason Stanley (2001). Hermeneutic Fictionalism. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 25 (1):36–71.
    Fictionalist approaches to ontology have been an accepted part of philosophical methodology for some time now. On a fictionalist view, engaging in discourse that involves apparent reference to a realm of problematic entities is best viewed as engaging in a pretense. Although in reality, the problematic entities do not exist, according to the pretense we engage in when using the discourse, they do exist. In the vocabulary of Burgess and Rosen (1997, p. 6), a nominalist construal of a given discourse (...)
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  40. Zoltan Szabo, Critical Notice of Ficitionalism in Metaphysics.
    I present two challenges to fictionalism. According to the first, the reasons fictionalists offer for acceptance without belief often warrant a somewhat different attitude. According to the second, the possibility of fictionalist acceptnace rests on the poorly supported hypothesis that there is a clear distinction between philsophical and ordinary contexts. This is forthcoming in Noûs.
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  41. Jonathan Tallant (2013). Pretense, Mathematics, and Cognitive Neuroscience. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (4):axs013.
    A pretense theory of a given discourse is a theory that claims that we do not believe or assert the propositions expressed by the sentences we token (speak, write, and so on) when taking part in that discourse. Instead, according to pretense theory, we are speaking from within a pretense. According to pretense theories of mathematics, we engage with mathematics as we do a pretense. We do not use mathematical language to make claims that express propositions and, thus, we do (...)
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  42. Amie L. Thomasson (1999). Fiction and Metaphysics. Cambridge University Press.
    This challenging study places fiction squarely at the center of the discussion of metaphysics. Philosophers have traditionally treated fiction as involving a set of narrow problems in logic or the philosophy of language. By contrast Amie Thomasson argues that fiction has far-reaching implications for central problems of metaphysics. The book develops an 'artifactual' theory of fiction, whereby fictional characters are abstract artifacts as ordinary as laws or symphonies or works of literature. By understanding fictional characters we come to understand how (...)
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  43. Achille C. Varzi (2013). Fictionalism in Ontology. In Carola Barbero, Maurizio Ferraris & Alberto Voltolini (eds.), From Fictionalism to Realism. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 133–151.
    Fictionalism in ontology is a mixed bag. Here I focus on three main variants—which I label after the names of Pascal, Berkeley, and Hume—and consider their relative strengths and weaknesses. The first variant is just a version of the epistemic Wager, applied across the board. The second variant builds instead on the fact that ordinary language is not ontologically transparent; we speak with the vulgar, but deep down we think with the learned. Finally, on the Humean variant it’s the structure (...)
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  44. Megan Wallace, Mental Fictionalism.
    Abstract: Suppose you are somewhat persuaded by the arguments for Eliminative Materialism, but are put off by the view itself. For instance, you might be sympathetic to one or more of the following considerations: (1) that folk psychology is a bad theory and will be soon replaced by cognitive science or neuroscience, (2) that folk psychology will never be vindicated by cognitive science, (3) that folk psychology makes ontological commitments to weird or spooky things that no proper science will admit (...)
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  45. Kendall L. Walton, Metaphor, Fictionalism, Make-Believe: Response to Elisabeth Camp.
    Prop oriented make-believe is make-believe utilized for the purpose of understanding what I call “props,” actual objects or states of affairs that make propositions “fictional,” true in the make-believe world. I, David Hills, and others have claimed that prop oriented make-believe lies at the heart of the functioning of many metaphors, and one variety of fictionalism in metaphysics invokes prop oriented make-believe to explain away apparent references to entities some find questionable or problematic (fictional characters, propositions, moral properties, numbers). Elisabeth (...)
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  46. Catherine Wearing (2012). Metaphor, Idiom, and Pretense. Noûs 46 (3):499-524.
    Imaginative and creative capacities seem to be at the heart of both games of make-believe and figurative uses of language. But how exactly might cases of metaphor or idiom involve make-believe? In this paper, I argue against the pretense-based accounts of Walton (1990, 1993), Hills (1997), and Egan (this journal, 2008) that pretense plays no role in the interpretation of metaphor or idiom; instead, more general capacities for manipulating concepts (which are also called on within the use of pretense) do (...)
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  47. James A. Woodbridge (2005). Truth as a Pretense. In Mark Kalderon (ed.), Fictionalism in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. 134.
    Truth-talk exhibits certain features that render it philosophically suspect and motivate a deflationary account. I offer a new formulation of deflationism that explains truth-talk in terms of semantic pretense. This amounts to a fictionalist account of truth-talk but avoids an error-theoretic interpretation and its resulting incoherence. The pretense analysis fits especially well with deflationism’s central commitment, and it handles truth-talk’s unusual features effectively. In particular, this approach suggests an interesting strategy for dealing with the Liar paradox. This version of deflationism (...)
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  48. James A. Woodbridge & Bradley Armour-Garb (2009). Linguistic Puzzles and Semantic Pretence. In Sarah Sawyer (ed.), New Waves in Philosophy of Language. Palgrave Macmillan.
    In this paper, we set out what we see as a novel, and very promising, approach to resolving a number of the familiar linguistic puzzles that provide philosophy of language with much of its subject matter. The approach we promote postulates semantic pretense at work where these puzzles arise. We begin by briefly cataloging the relevant dilemmas. Then, after introducing the pretense approach, we indicate how it promises to handle these putatively intractable problems. We then consider a number of objections (...)
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  49. Richard Woodward (2012). A Yablovian Dilemma. Thought 1 (3):200-209.
    Stephen Yablo (2001) argues that traditional fictionalist strategies run into trouble due to a mismatch between the modal status of a claim like ‘2 + 3 = 5’ and the modal status of its fictionalist paraphrase. I argue here that Yablo is best seen as confronting the fictionalist with a dilemma, and then go on to show how this dilemma can be resolved.
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  50. Richard Woodward (2012). Fictionalism and Incompleteness. Noûs 46 (4):781-790.
    The modal fictionalist faces a problem due to the fact that her chosen story seems to be incomplete—certain things are neither fictionally true nor fictionally false. The significance of this problem is not localized to modal fictionalism, however, since many fictionalists will face it too. By examining how the fictionalist should analyze the notion of truth according to her story, and, in particular, the role that conditionals play for the fictionalist, I develop a novel and elegant solution to the incompleteness (...)
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