David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):56–80 (2007)
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 the sort of data invoked by the abstract object theorist in fact cuts against her position. I concludle that we should not regard fictional characters as abstract objects but rather should adopt a make-believe theoretic account of fictional characters along the lines of those developed by Ken Walton and others.
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References found in this work BETA
Kendall L. Walton (1990). Mimesis as Make-Believe: On the Foundations of the Representational Arts. Harvard University Press.
Amie L. Thomasson (1999). Fiction and Metaphysics. Cambridge University Press.
Jason Stanley & Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2000). On Quantifier Domain Restriction. Mind and Language 15 (2&3):219--61.
Nathan Salmon (1998). Nonexistence. Noûs 32 (3):277-319.
Terence Parsons (1980). Nonexistent Objects. Yale University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Gualtiero Piccinini & Sam Scott (2010). Recovering What Is Said With Empty Names. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (2):239-273.
David C. Spewak Jr (2016). A Modulation Account of Negative Existentials. Philosophia 44 (1):227-245.
Alberto Voltolini (2009). The Seven Consequences of Creationism. Metaphysica 10 (1):27-48.
Manuel García-Carpintero (2009). Voltolini's Ficta. Dialectica 63 (1):57-66.
Alberto Voltolini (2009). How Ficta Follow Fiction: Replies to Commentators. Dialectica 63 (1):75-84.
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