About this topic
Summary We routinely appear to quantify over and refer to fictionals characters. For example, it appears to be true that there are characters in some 19th-century novels who are presented with a greater wealth of physical detail than is any character in any 18th-century novel. Such reference and quantification appears to commit us to an ontology of fictional characters. But what are these things? A clue and another argument for realism is that it is true that Conan Doyle created Sherlock Holmes. So fictional characters look to be artifacts, but how can this be? Realists about fictional characters try to provide a clear account of the nature of these characters. The realist, however, faces a problem since it is also true that Sherlock Holmes does not exist. So there seem to be sentences that pull us to realism and sentences that push us toward irrealism. 
Key works Parsons 1980 provides an account of fictional characters as eternal Meinongian non-existent objects. Construed as such, fictional characters have clear identity conditions. Such a treatment is found by many to be implausible in the extreme. A more popular view treats fictional characters as created. Kripke 2013 provides the intuitive case for an ontology of fictional characters as abstract artifacts. Thomasson 1998 takes up these themes and develops them in more detail. Such realism faces two serious threats, both of which have been pushed by Anthony Everett. First, how can the realist account for true fictional negative existentials (Everett 2007), second can they provide a coherent metaphysics (Everett 2005)?
Introductions Friend 2007. For a book-length treatment see Sainsbury 2009.
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  1. Meinongian Merits and Maladies.Samuel Hoadley-Brill - manuscript
    According to what has long been the dominant school of thought in analytic meta-ontology––defended not only by W. V. O. Quine, but also by Bertrand Russell, Alvin Plantinga, Peter van Inwagen, and many others––the meaning of ‘there is’ is identical to the meaning of ‘there exists.’ The most (in)famous aberration from this view is advanced by Alexius Meinong, whose ontological picture has endured extensive criticism (and borderline abuse) from several subscribers to the majority view. Meinong denies the identity of being (...)
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  2. Reality and Unreality.Nathan Salmon - manuscript
    A collection of ten previously published essays on existence, nonexistence, empty names, fiction and myth, and free logic.
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  3. Platonism, Nominalism, and Semantic Appearances.Justin Clarke-Doane - forthcoming - Logique Et Analyse.
    It is widely assumed that platonism with respect to a discourse of metaphysical interest, such as fictional or mathematical discourse, affords a better account of the semantic appearances than nominalism, other things being equal. Of course, other things may not be equal. For example, platonism is supposed to come at the cost of a plausible epistemology and ontology. But the hedged claim is often treated as a background assumption. It is motivated by the intuitively stronger one that the platonist can (...)
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  4. Real feeling and fictional time in human-AI interactions.Krueger Joel & Tom Roberts - forthcoming - Topoi.
    As technology improves, artificial systems are increasingly able to behave in human-like ways: holding a conversation; providing information, advice, and support; or taking on the role of therapist, teacher, or counsellor. This enhanced behavioural complexity, we argue, encourages deeper forms of affective engagement on the part of the human user, with the artificial agent helping to stabilise, subdue, prolong, or intensify a person's emotional condition. Here, we defend a fictionalist account of human/AI interaction, according to which these encounters involve an (...)
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  5. Fictional Creationism and Negative Existentials.Jeonggyu Lee - forthcoming - Canadian Journal of Philosophy:1-16.
    In this paper, I defend fictional creationism, the view that fictional objects are abstract artifacts, from the objection that the apparent truth of fictional negative existentials, such as “Sherlock Holmes does not exist,” poses a serious problem for creationism. I develop a sophisticated version of the pragmatic approach by focusing on the inconsistent referential intentions of ordinary speakers: the upshot would be that creationism is no worse —perhaps even in a better position— than anti-realism, even if we restrict our linguistic (...)
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  6. Masks, Names and Characters in New Comedy.P. G. McC - forthcoming - Hermes.
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  7. Modes of Being and Non-Being: Existence, Occurrence, and Validity.Friederike Moltmann - forthcoming - Grazer Philosophische Studien.
    Existence as reflected in natural language is not a univocal notion, but divides into different modes of being, such as existence (as, roughly, endurance) and occurrence. One aim of the paper is to distinguish sharply between abstract artifacts and non-existent objects (e.g., plans vs. planned events that fail to occur); another is to argue for validity as a mode of being distinct from existence, as well as for corresponding distinctions among non-being.
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  8. Fictitious Existence versus Nonexistence.Nathan Salmon - forthcoming - Grazer Philosophische Studien.
    A correct observation to the effect that a does not exist, where ‘a’ is a singular term, could be true on any of a variety of grounds. Typically, a true, singular negative existential is true on the unproblematic ground that the subject term ‘a’ designates something that does not presently exist. More interesting philosophically is a singular, negative existential statement in which the subject term ‘a’ designates nothing at all. Both of these contrast sharply with a singular, negative existential in (...)
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  9. Talking Truly about Fictional Characters - Without Fictional Characters.Tatjana von Solodkoff - forthcoming - In Synthese Library Book Series. The University of Chicago Press.
    This paper delves into Jody Azzouni's ideas on the ontology of fictional characters. Azzouni interestingly maintains that even though fictional characters like Hermione Granger, Sherlock Holmes, and Mickey Mouse do not exist in reality, assertions about them can still be true. However, Azzouni dismisses the necessity of these characters to be ontologically real to validate the truth of sentences concerning them. Instead, Azzouni proposes that truth in speech and thought corresponds with the world, but not necessarily by attributing properties and (...)
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  10. Review of Brock and Everett (eds.) Fictional Objects. [REVIEW]Lee Walters - forthcoming - British Journal of Aesthetics.
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  11. Fictional domains.Dominic Gregory - 2024 - Noûs 58 (1):126-140.
    (Open Access.) Quantifiers frequently figure in works of fiction. But occurrences of quantificational expressions within fictions seem no more inevitably to be associated with real domains than uses of names within fictions seem inevitably to be associated with existing referents. The paper outlines some philosophical puzzles resulting from this apparent lack of associated domains, puzzles that are broadly analogous to more familiar ones raised by the apparently nonreferential nature of many fictional names. The paper argues, in the light of an (...)
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  12. Thinking about Stories: An Introduction to Philosophy of Fiction.Samuel Lebens & Tatjana von Solodkoff - 2024 - Routledge.
    Thinking About Stories is a fun and thought-provoking introduction to philosophical questions about narrative fiction in its many forms, from highbrow literature to pulp fiction to the latest shows on Netflix. Written by philosophers Samuel Lebens and Tatjana von Solodkoff, it engages with fundamental questions about fiction, like: What is it? What does it give us? Does a story need a narrator? And why do sad stories make us cry if we know they aren’t real? The format of the book (...)
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  13. What is Metascientific Epistemology?François Maurice - 2024 - Mεtascience: Scientific General Discourse 3:22-51.
    Metascientific epistemology differs from any philosophical epistemologies in its aims, objects and methods. Through an examination of Mario Bunge’s epistemology, we will show that the main objective of metascientific epistemology is the development of a unified representation of the epistemic transformations of scientific knowledge through the study of the epistemic operations necessary for its acquisition, creation and validation, that its objects of study are scientific con-structs, and that its methods do not differ from those expected to be found in any (...)
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  14. Just How Many “Lukes” Are There in A New Hope, Anyway?Roy T. Cook & Nathan Kellen - 2023-01-09 - In Jason T. Eberl & Kevin S. Decker (eds.), Star Wars and Philosophy Strikes Back. Wiley. pp. 174–182.
    Few Star Wars characters are more beloved than Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight, son of Darth Vader, and mentor to Rey. Fictional characters like Luke are wholly defined by how people understand, interpret, and evaluate their depictions within the fictions in which they appear. This chapter explores various ways to provide identity conditions for fictional characters. It examines a more sophisticated, but again ultimately incorrect, account of fictional character identity: the Say‐So Account, in which authors determine whether two characters, from two (...)
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  15. Ambifictional Counterfactuals.Andrew D. Bassford - 2023 - Philosophies 8 (6):108.
    In this paper, I argue that David Lewis’s possible world semantics for counterfactual discourse and for fictional discourse are apparently inconsistent and in need of revision. The problem emerges for Lewis’s account once one considers how to evaluate ambifictional counterfactuals. Since this is likely not a concept familiar to most, and since it does not appear that the problem has been previously recognized in the critical literature, I will begin by rehearsing Lewis’s possible worlds semantics for counterfactuals and fiction. Then (...)
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  16. The semantics of fiction.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2023 - Mind and Language 38 (2):604-618.
    The paper reviews proposals by Abell, Predelli, and others on the semantics of fiction, focusing on the discourse through which fictions are created. Predelli develops the radical fictionalism of former writers like Kripke and van Inwagen, on which that discourse is contentless and does not express propositions. This paper offers reasons to doubt these claims. It then explores realist proposals like Abell’s in which singular terms in fictions refer to fictional characters, understood as socially created representational artifacts, and irrealist alternatives (...)
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  17. Beyond Fictionality: A Definition of Fictional Characterhood.Alfonso Muñoz-Corcuera - 2023 - Philosophies 8 (6):111.
    While the nature of fictional characters has received much attention in the last few years within analytic philosophy, most accounts fail to grasp what distinguishes fictional characters from other fictional entities. In this paper, I propose to amend this deficiency by defining fictional characterhood. I claim that fictional characters are fictional intentional systems, a thesis that I label as FIST. After introducing FIST, I compare it to some rival definitions of fictional characters found in the literature, explaining why FIST is (...)
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  18. Fictional Names Revisited.Panu Raatikainen - 2023 - In _Essays in the Philosophy of Language._ Acta Philosophica Fennica Vol. 100. Helsinki: Societas Philosophica Fennica. pp. 227–246.
    Several philosophers including Kripke have contended that fictional entities do exist as abstract objects, and fictional names refer to such abstract entities. Kripke and Thomasson compare fictional entities to existing social entities. Kripke also reflects on fictions inside fictions to support his view. Many philosophers appeal to the apparent fact that we quantify over fictional entities. Such arguments in favor of the existence of fictional entities are critically scrutinized. It is argued that they are much less compelling than their proponents (...)
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  19. Against the Precisificational Approach to Fictional Inconsistencies.Inchul Yum - 2023 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 9 (66).
    Fictional realists claim that fictional characters like Spiderman exist in reality. Against this view, Anthony Everett (2005; 2013) argues that fictional realists cannot determine whether characters α and β are identical if the relevant fiction states that α and β are identical and distinct at the same time. Some fictional re-alists, such as Ross Cameron (2013) and Richard Woodward (2017), respond to this objection by saying that the sense in which α and β are identical differs from the sense in (...)
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  20. Inauthentic Devotion to the Eucharist in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus.Adolphus Ekedimma Amaefule - 2022 - Heythrop Journal 63 (2):171-181.
    Catholics normally approach the Eucharist with great love and devotion. The paper looks at how, through the character, Papa, the reality of this love and devotion to the Eucharist is captured by the Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Adichie, in her novel, Purple Hibiscus . The novel reveals that while Papa, in various ways, shows great love and devotion to Christ in the Eucharist, his devotion remains inauthentic: it does not lead him to a love of this same Christ in his neighbour. (...)
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  21. Kripke’nin Kurgu Çözümlemesinde Ad ve Adımsı Arasındaki İlişki.Erim Bakkal - 2022 - Kilikya Felsefe Dergisi / Cilicia Journal of Philosophy 18 (2):36-53.
    Özet: Bu metindeki amacım Kripke’nin kurgu çözümlemesinde özel adlar ve adımsılar (pretended name) arasındaki ilişkiyi ele almak. Kripke için özel adlar değişmez imleyicilerdir (rigid designator), yani tek bir varlığı/şeyi var olduğu tüm olanaklı dünyalarda biricik belirlerler. Adımsılar ise kurgusal söylemde ortaya çıkan kurgunun taslamasının bir parçasıdır; yani kurgu dünyadaki karakterlerin adlarıdır. Kripke’ye göre adımsılar sadece gerçek adları taklit eden fakat taklit ve benzerlik ilişkisinden öte bir ilişkileri olmayan, adlardan kategorik olarak farklı şeylerdir. Fakat Kripke için adlar ve adımsılar kategorik olarak (...)
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  22. Philosophy of Comics: An Introduction.Sam Cowling & Wesley Cray - 2022 - London: Bloomsbury.
    What exactly are comics? Can they be art, literature, or even pornography? How should we understand the characters, stories, and genres that shape them? Thinking about comics raises a bewildering range of questions about representation, narrative, and value. Philosophy of Comics is an introduction to these philosophical questions. In exploring the history and variety of the comics medium, Sam Cowling and Wesley D. Cray chart a path through the emerging field of the philosophy of comics. Drawing from a diverse range (...)
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  23. «Koryo» (cuento).Jesús Miguel Delgado Del Aguila - 2022 - Leteo: Revista de Investigación y Producción En Humanidades 3 (5):102-103.
    Este es un cuento de creación literaria.
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  24. An Inferentialist Account of Fictional Names.Byeong D. Lee - 2022 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 29 (3):290–326.
    The goal of this paper is to present and defend an inferentialist account of the meaning of fictional names on the basis of Sellars-Brandom’s inferentialist semantics and a Brandomian anaphoric theory of reference. On this inferentialist account, the meaning of a fictional name is constituted by the relevant language norms which provide the correctness conditions for its use. In addition, the Brandomian anaphoric theory of reference allows us to understand reference in terms of anaphoric word-word relations, rather than substantial word-world (...)
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  25. Authorial Intention, Readers’ Creation, and Reference Shift.Jeonggyu Lee - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (2):381-401.
    This paper deals with the identity problems of fictional objects, focusing on Anthony Everett's and Stuart Brock's leading criticisms against fictional creationism, the view that fictional objects are abstract objects created by our acts involving literary practices. My primary aim is to argue that creationism based on referentialism has enough resources to individuate fictional objects and hence can address the alleged identity problems: every alleged problematic case regarding the identity of fictional objects is well explained in terms of the notions (...)
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  26. Unamuno on the Ontological Status of God and Other Fictional Characters.Alberto Oya - 2022 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 41 (3):25-45.
    In this paper I will argue that Unamuno was conceiving of God (and ordinary, non-religious fictional characters more generally) in realist, though non-evidentially grounded, terms. I will point out that this way of conceiving of God allowed Unamuno to claim the actual existence of God (though as a fictional, purely humanly created character) and, with this, the possibility of there being an actual relationship between the concrete religious person and God without having to dispense with his own core claim that (...)
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  27. Mental Theorizing about Fictional Characters.Katie Tullmann - 2022 - Journal of Aesthetic Education 56 (2):78-100.
    Mindreading is the ability to attribute mental states to others and predict their behavior. Mindreading is commonplace in our daily lives, as well as our engagements with fictions. In this paper, I provide an account of how we mindread fictional entities that draws upon a version of theory-theory (TT). TT states that we attribute mental states through a process of inference-drawing from tacit folk psychological knowledge about mental states and information about our current environment and then conclude that the target (...)
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  28. Fictional Characters and Their Discontents: Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics of Fictional Entities.Shamik Chakravarty - 2021 - Dissertation, Lingnan University
    In recent metaphysics, the questions of whether fictional entities exist, what their nature is, and how to explain truths of statements such as “Sherlock Holmes lives at 221B Baker Street” and “Holmes was created by Arthur Conan Doyle” have been subject to much debate. The main aim of my thesis is to wrestle with key proponents of the abstractionist view that fictional entities are abstract objects that exist (van Inwagen 1977, 2018, Thomasson 1999 and Salmon 1998) as well as Walton’s (...)
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  29. Rethinking Role Realism.Daniela Glavaničová - 2021 - British Journal of Aesthetics 61 (1):59-74.
    Role realism is a promising realist theory of fictional names. Different versions of this theory have been suggested by Gregory Currie, Peter Lamarque, Stein Haugom Olsen, and Nicholas Wolterstorff. The general idea behind the approach is that fictional characters are to be analysed in terms of roles, which in turn can be understood as sets of properties. I will discuss several advantages and disadvantages of this approach. I will then propose a novel hyperintensional version of role realism, according to which (...)
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  30. The Language of Fiction.Emar Maier & Andreas Stokke (eds.) - 2021 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This volume brings together new research on fiction from the fields of philosophy and linguistics. Fiction has long been a topic of interest in philosophy, but recent years have also seen a surge in work on fictional discourse at the intersection between linguistics and philosophy of language. In particular, there has been a growing interest in examining long-standing issues concerning fiction from a perspective that is informed both by philosophy and linguistic theory. -/- Following a detailed introduction by the editors, (...)
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  31. How Ficta Depend.Michele Paolini Paoletti - 2021 - Esercizi Filosofici 16 (1):3-25.
    I shall elaborate in this article on the connection between ficta and metaontological pluralism, i.e., the view according to which there are irreducibly many dependence relations. More precisely, I shall consider the main tenets of an artifactualist theory of ficta and show how they can be expressed from the standpoint of a pluralist theory of dependence that accepts irreducibly many Respect-of-Dependence relations (in short, RD-relations). In Section 2, I shall introduce the artifactualist theory at stake and, in Section 3, I (...)
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  32. Fiction and Common Ground.Merel Semeijn - 2021 - Dissertation,
    The main aim of this dissertation is to model the different ways in which we use language when we engage with fiction. This main aim subdivides itself into a number of puzzles. We all know that dragons do not exist. Yet, when I read the Harry Potter novels, I do accept the existence of dragons. How do we keep such fictional truths separate from ‘ordinary’ non-fictional truths? What is the difference between Tolkien writing down all sorts of falsities, and a (...)
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  33. Modal Meinongianism and Object Theory.Francesco Berto, Filippo Casati, Naoya Fujikawa & Graham Priest - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Logic 17 (1):1-21.
    We reply to various arguments by Otavio Bueno and Edward Zalta (‘Object Theory and Modal Meinongianism’) against Modal Meinongianism, including that it presupposes, but cannot maintain, a unique denotation for names of fictional characters, and that it is not generalizable to higher-order objects. We individuate the crucial difference between Modal Meinongianism and Object Theory in the former’s resorting to an apparatus of worlds, possible and impossible, for the representational purposes for which the latter resorts to a distinction between two kinds (...)
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  34. Co‐Identification and Fictional Names.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (1):3-34.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  35. Fictional Discourse: A Radical Fictionalist Semantics By Stefano Predelli. [REVIEW]Thomas Hodgson - 2020 - Analysis 80 (4):834-836.
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  36. There are no i-beliefs or i-desires at work in fiction consumption and this is why.Peter Langland-Hassan - 2020 - In Explaining Imagination. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 210-233.
    Currie’s (2010) argument that “i-desires” must be posited to explain our responses to fiction is critically discussed. It is argued that beliefs and desires featuring ‘in the fiction’ operators—and not sui generis imaginings (or "i-beliefs" or "i-desires")—are the crucial states involved in generating fiction-directed affect. A defense of the “Operator Claim” is mounted, according to which ‘in the fiction’ operators would be also be required within fiction-directed sui generis imaginings (or "i-beliefs" and "i-desires"), were there such. Once we appreciate that (...)
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  37. ‘Vivaldi for gorillas”: Seeking Aesthetics in adversity.Venkat Ramanan - 2020 - Aesthetics Research Lab 1.
    Why does someone reach for beauty in circumstances of adversity when it is usually presumed that staying alive presupposes all else?
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  38. I do not believe in Meigas, but there are such. A Meinongian Empirical Case Based on Galician ‘Meigas’.Olga Ramírez Calle - 2020 - E-Logos Electronic Journal for Philosophy 27 (1):4-20.
    This paper aspires to meet a philosophical challenge posed to the author to give treatment to what was seen as a particularly nice Meinongian case1; namely the case of Galician Meigas. However, through the playful footpaths of enchanted Galician Meigas, I rehabilitate some relevant discussion on the justification of belief formation and come to some poignant philosophical insights regarding the understanding of possibilities. I hope both the leading promoter of the challenge and, of course, other philosophical readers are satisfied with (...)
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  39. J K Rowling зла, чем я? (пересмотрено 2019 ).Michael Richard Starks - 2020 - In ДОБРО ПОЖАЛОВАТЬ В АД НА НАШЕМ МИРЕ. Las Vegas, NV USA: Reality Press. pp. 252-256.
    Как насчет другого взять на богатых и знаменитых? Во-первых, очевидное - романы о Гарри Поттере - это примитивные суеверия, которые побуждают детей верить в фантазию, а не брать на себя ответственность за мир - норма, конечно. JKR как раз как clueless о себе и мире как большинств люди,но около 200 времен как разрушительно как средний американец и около 800 времен больше чем средний китаец. Она несет ответственность за уничтожение, может быть, 30000 гектаров леса для производства этих романов мусора и все (...)
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  40. Abstract objects and semantics: An essay on prospects and problems with abstraction principles as a means of justifying reference to abstract objects.Gnatek Zuzanna - 2020 - Dissertation, Trinity College, Dublin
  41. Truth in Fiction, Impossible Worlds, and Belief Revision.Francesco Berto & Christopher Badura - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (1):178-193.
    We present a theory of truth in fiction that improves on Lewis's [1978] ‘Analysis 2’ in two ways. First, we expand Lewis's possible worlds apparatus by adding non-normal or impossible worlds. Second, we model truth in fiction as belief revision via ideas from dynamic epistemic logic. We explain the major objections raised against Lewis's original view and show that our theory overcomes them.
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  42. Normative Fiction‐Making and the World of the Fiction.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2019 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 77 (3):267-279.
    In recent work, Walton has abandoned his very influential account of the fictionality of p in a fictional work in terms of prescriptions to imagine emanating from it. He offers examples allegedly showing that a prescription to imagine p in a given work of fiction is not sufficient for the fictionality of p in that work. In this paper, both in support and further elaboration of a constitutive-norms speech-act variation on Walton’s account that I have defended previously, I critically discuss (...)
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  43. Singular Reference in Fictional Discourse?Manuel García-Carpintero - 2019 - Disputatio 11 (54):143-177.
    Singular terms used in fictions for fictional characters raise well-known philosophical issues, explored in depth in the literature. But philosophers typically assume that names already in use to refer to “moderatesized specimens of dry goods” cause no special problem when occurring in fictions, behaving there as they ordinarily do in straightforward assertions. In this paper I continue a debate with Stacie Friend, arguing against this for the exceptionalist view that names of real entities in fictional discourse don’t work there as (...)
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  44. "Верблюдът" Радичков: въображението като реалност.Vasil Penchev - 2019 - In Пламен Антов (ed.), Магическият реализъм. pp. 69-86.
    The text aims to explain Radichkov's special magical capaЬility of creating imaginary worlds. His words do not mean any external reality to which they refer. Тhеу themselves are reality. Radickov's language consists of "ontological quanta". Any ontological quantum means both reality and а certain image of it, indivisiЫe and indistinguishaЫe from each other. Here we сап also involve non-Saussurean semiotics. The signifier and the signified are indivisiЫe and complementary in any sign. The meanings are areas of agreement between human beings. (...)
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  45. Верблюдът Радичков: въображението като реалност.Vasil Penchev - 2019 - In Пламен Антов (ed.), Магическият реализъм. pp. 69-86.
    The text aims to explain Radichkov's special magical capaЬility of creating imaginary worlds. His words do not mean any external reality to which they refer. Тhеу themselves are reality. Radickov's language consists of "ontological quanta". Any ontological quantum means both reality and а certain image of it, indivisiЫe and indistinguishaЫe from each other. Here we сап also involve non-Saussurean semiotics. The signifier and the signified are indivisiЫe and complementary in any sign. The meanings are areas of agreement between human beings. (...)
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  46. Mary Wilkins Freeman’s “Louisa” and the Problem of Female Choice.Judith P. Saunders - 2019 - Philosophy and Literature 43 (2):466-481.
    In her 1890 short story “Louisa,” Mary Wilkins Freeman explores nepotistic interference with female mate selection. Twenty-five-year-old Louisa Britton is pressured by her mother to marry against her inclinations, that is, to accept a suitor whom she does not “like.”1 The focal point of Freeman’s plot is the ensuing mother-daughter conflict, an evolutionarily significant issue that invites readers to consider the questions it raises in larger terms: What motivates parents to interfere with a daughter’s mating decisions? Is a parent’s assessment (...)
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  47. Explaining Fictional Characters.Tatjana von Solodkoff - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6.
    Fictional characters are awkward creatures. They are described as being girls, detectives, and cats; as being famous, based on real people, and well developed, and as being paradigmatic examples of things that don’t exist. It’s not hard to see that there are tensions between these various descriptions—how can something that is a detective not exist?—and there is a range of views designed to make sense of the pre-theoretical data. Fictional realists hold that we should accept that fictional characters are part (...)
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  48. Who Do We Think We Are?Andrea Westlund - 2019 - Philosophy and Literature 43 (1):173-191.
    Our moral lives are replete with acts of autobiographical story-telling. The stories we tell are intended to help others understand what we do by helping them understand “who we are” in a practical or normative sense. The act of addressing one’s stories to an audience, however, is as likely to destabilize as it is to confirm one’s understanding of “who one is”. Drawing on themes in Wally Lamb’s novel I Know This Much is True, I offer a dialogical account of (...)
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  49. The Character of Huckleberry Finn.Kristina Gehrman - 2018 - Philosophy and Literature 42 (1):125-144.
    Ever since Jonathan Bennett wrote about Huckleberry Finn's conscience in 1974, Mark Twain's young hero has played a small but noteworthy role in the moral philosophy and moral psychology literature. Following Bennett, philosophers read Huck as someone who consistently follows his heart and does the right thing in a pinch, firmly believing all the while that what he does is morally wrong.1 Specifically, according to this reading, Huck has racist beliefs that he never consciously questions; but in practice he consistently (...)
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  50. Conversational Exculpature.Daniel Hoek - 2018 - Philosophical Review 127 (2):151-196.
    Conversational exculpature is a pragmatic process whereby information is subtracted from, rather than added to, what the speaker literally says. This pragmatic content subtraction explains why we can say “Rob is six feet tall” without implying that Rob is between 5'0.99" and 6'0.01" tall, and why we can say “Ellen has a hat like the one Sherlock Holmes always wears” without implying Holmes exists or has a hat. This article presents a simple formalism for understanding this pragmatic mechanism, specifying how, (...)
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