Fiction preface

The logic of fiction has been a stand-alone research programme only since the early 1970s.1 It is a fair question as to why in the first place fictional discourse would have drawn the interest of professional logicians. It is a question admitting of different answers. One is that, since fictional names are “empty”, fiction is a primary datum for any logician seeking a suitably comprehensive logic of denotation. Another answer arises from the so-called incompleteness problem, exemplified by the fact (or apparent fact) that some fictional sentences – think of “Sherlock Holmes’ mother was nick-named ‘Polly’” − are neither true nor false. These are sentences to command the attention of logicians who work on non-bivalent logics. A further spur to logical engagement is the supposed fictionality of certain kinds of ideal models in science and certain classes of mathematical objects. No doubt, there are other features of fictional discourse that provide the logician with a natural entré, but perhaps it would also be correct to say that the fiction’s biggest draw for logicians is that our quite common beliefs about the fictional constitute what Nicholas Rescher calls “aporetic clusters”, so named after the Latinized Greek aporos for “impassable”.2 An aporetic cluster is a set of claims such that..
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