The Nature of Fictional Discourse

Dissertation, Mcgill University (Canada) (1993)
This dissertation presents an account of fictional discourse which is teleological. According to it, questions about what is said in fiction and how it ought to be said are answerable in terms of the goals and methods belonging specifically to fiction-making as a practice. Viewed in such a way, it is argued that the incompleteness of fictional discourse and its apparent tolerance of inconsistency are distinctive of it. Moreover, it is argued that there is a sense in which one can produce true statements in fiction without thereby committing one self to the thesis that words made use of in fiction are endowed with reference. Throughout the dissertation, the view espoused in it is contrasted with rival positions on the issues of what fiction is about, and whether it can be true. It is argued that a teleological account of fictional discourse can present a coherent alternative to these
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