Graduate studies at Western
|Abstract||Because names from fiction, names like ‘Sherlock Holmes’, fail to refer, and because it has been supposed that all simple predicative sentences including a sentence like ‘Sherlock Holmes smokes’ will be true if and only if the referent of the name has the property encoded by the predicate, many philosophers have denied that an utterance of the sentence ‘Sherlock Holmes smokes’ could be true. Despite this, natural language speakers appear to engage in sensible conversations using these kinds of sentences, and appear to convey information to one another in doing so. These facts have led non-literalists about fictional discourse to maintain that the utterances of the sentences by speakers engaged in such conversations are literally false, but that those utterances should be interpreted as pragmatically conveying information about what is true according to the story. I argue, however, that these story operator accounts cannot capture all of the true readings of an utterance of a sentence like ‘Sherlock Holmes smokes’. There are other true readings that arise both in some of the ordinary natural paths fictional discourse might take, as well as in modal discourse about fiction. What’s more, I offer arguments that not only are there other true readings, but those readings should be taken as what is literally said by speakers in uttering sentences like ‘Sherlock Holmes smokes’.|
|Keywords||Fictional names Story operators Literal truth Semantics Pragmatics|
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|Through your library||Only published papers are available at libraries|
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