David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Noûs 35 (s15):153-172 (2001)
Sherlock Holmes is a fictional individual. So is his favorite pipe. Our pre-theoretical intuition says that neither of them is real. It says that neither of them really, or actually, exists. It also says that there is a sense in which they do exist, namely, a sense in which they exist “in the world of” the Sherlock Holmes stories. Our pre-theoretical intuition says in general of any fictional individual that it does not actually exist but exists “in the world of” the relevant fiction. I wish to defend this pretheoretical intuition. To do so, I need to defend two claims: that fictional individuals do not actually exist, and that they exist “in the world of” the relevant fiction. The aim of this paper is to defend the first claim.
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