Fate, Fiction and the Future

Philosophical Papers 30 (1):69-92 (2001)
Abstract
Abstract Some fictions, it seems, represent the future as closed, in the sense that some future-tensed propositions are true in those fictions. Yet it is surprisingly difficult to accommodate this plausible thesis within an account of truth in fiction. A number of putative examples of closed fictional futures are discussed (Macbeth, Oedipus, Time and the Conways, The Time Machine) and the problems encountered in reconciling them with various accounts of truth in fiction (David Lewis', Gregory Currie's, Alex Byrne's) elaborated. Connections are drawn between metaphysical views on time and theories of fiction, and an attempt is made to show how the tenseless theory of time (roughly, the denial that time flows) can illuminate accounts of fictional truth, and in particular the issue of how there can be true beliefs about what will happen in a fiction
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