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The problem of non-existents

Topoi 1 (1-2):97-140 (1982)

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  1. Against an Identity Criterion for Fictional Ersatz Realism.Timo Meier - 2018 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 32 (3):89-108.
    Fictional ersatz realism is the metaphysical stance that abstract fictional entities exist and are dependent on fiction and literary practices. Everett tackled the position of ersatz realism by claiming that the ersatz realist cannot provide an identity criterion for fictional entities that does not imply a contradiction. Although Woodward proposed a defense to Everett's argument, I will argue that ersatz realism is no tenable position, as it still cannot provide an adequate identity criterion. To establish this result, I will provide (...)
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  • Fictional Content.Elisa Paganini - 2019 - Disputatio 11 (54):255-269.
    It is usually taken for granted that a necessary condition for knowing that P is the truth of P. It may therefore be claimed that if we assume that we gain some kind of knowledge through fiction of P*, then P* should be true—in at least a certain sense. My hypothesis is that this assumption grounds the different ways adopted by philosophers for attributing truth-conditions to fictional sentences. My claim in this work is that fictional sentences do not have truth-values (...)
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  • Actuality and Essence.William G. Lycan & Stewart Shapiro - 1986 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 11 (1):343-377.
  • Defending Explosive Universal Fictions.Nathan Wildman & Christian Folde - 2020 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 78 (2):238-242.
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  • Explaining Essences.Michael J. Raven - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-22.
    This paper explores the prospects of combining two views. The first view is metaphysical rationalism (the principle of sufficient reason): all things have an explanation. The second view is metaphysical essentialism: there are real essences. The exploration is motivated by a conflict between the views. Metaphysical essentialism posits facts about essences. Metaphysical rationalism demands explanations for all facts. But facts about essences appear to resist explanation. I consider two solutions to the conflict. Exemption solutions attempt to exempt facts about essences (...)
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  • Modal Meinongianism and Characterization.Francesco Berto & Graham Priest - 2014 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 90 (1):183-200.
    In this paper we reply to arguments of Kroon (“Characterization and Existence in Modal Meinongianism”. Grazer Philosophische Studien 86, 23–34) to the effect that Modal Meinongianism cannot do justice to Meinongian claims such as that the golden mountain is golden, and that it does not exist.
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  • Music and Vague Existence.David Friedell - 2017 - Res Philosophica 94 (4):437-449.
    I explain a tension between musical creationism and the view that there is no vague existence. I then suggest ways to reconcile these views. My central conclusion is that, although some versions of musical creationism imply vague existence, others do not. I discuss versions of musical creationism held by Jerrold Levinson, Simon Evnine, and Kit Fine. I also present two new versions. I close by considering whether the tension is merely an instance of a general problem raised by artifacts, both (...)
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  • Counting the Particles: Entity and Identity in the Philosophy of Physics.Francesco Berto - 2017 - Metaphysica 18 (1).
    I would like to attack a certain view: The view that the concept of identity can fail to apply to some things although, for some positive integer n, we have n of them. The idea of entities without self-identity is seriously entertained in the philosophy of quantum mechanics. It is so pervasive that it has been labelled the Received View. I introduce the Received View in Section 1. In Section 2 I explain what I mean by entity, and I argue (...)
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  • Exploring Routley's Nuclear Meinongianism and Beyond.Fujikawa Naoya - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Logic 15 (2):41.
    Even though Richard Routley is known as a proponent of so-callednuclear Meinongianism, the details of hisview in Exploring Meinong’s Jungle and Beyond have not attractedmuch attention. In this paper, I critically examine two notablebut less known features of Meinongianism in Routley which particularlyconcern a core claim of nuclear Meinongianism that so-calledCharacterization Principle is applicable to nuclear properties but not to extranuclearproperties : The firstone is his ‘double determination’ argument for restricting the class ofproperties to which CP is applicable; and the (...)
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  • Exploding Stories and the Limits of Fiction.Michel-Antoine Xhignesse - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-18.
    It is widely agreed that fiction is necessarily incomplete, but some recent work postulates the existence of universal fictions—stories according to which everything is true. Building such a story is supposedly straightforward: authors can either assert that everything is true in their story, define a complement function that does the assertoric work for them, or, most compellingly, write a story combining a contradiction with the principle of explosion. The case for universal fictions thus turns on the intuitive priority we assign (...)
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  • Everything is True.Luis Estrada González - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Logic 15 (2):64-76.
    I defend the idea that there are universal fictions, and that the Routley-Deutsch-Kapsner way of generating them – namely, with a story including deliberately and explicitly the proposition Everything is true – is still the best one. I reconstruct Wildman and Folde’s Finean criticisms to universal fictions a la Routley-Deutsch-Kapsner based on the idea that the universal quantifier in such fictions may not target the intended range of quantification, that is, all propositions. I show that Wildman and Folde’s argument does (...)
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  • Modal Meinongianism and Fiction: The Best of Three Worlds.Francesco Berto - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 152 (3):313-35.
    We outline a neo-Meinongian framework labeled as Modal Meinongian Metaphysics (MMM) to account for the ontology and semantics of fictional discourse. Several competing accounts of fictional objects are originated by the fact that our talking of them mirrors incoherent intuitions: mainstream theories of fiction privilege some such intuitions, but are forced to account for others via complicated paraphrases of the relevant sentences. An ideal theory should resort to as few paraphrases as possible. In Sect. 1, we make this explicit via (...)
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  • Counting Again.David Sanson, Ben Caplan & Cathleen Muller - 2017 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 94 (1-2):69-82.
    The authors consider a recurring objection to fictional realism, the view that fictional characters are objects. The authors call this thecounting objection. Russell presses a version of the objection against Meinong’s view. Everett presses a version of the objection against contemporary fictional realist views, as do Nolan and Sandgren. As the authors see it, the objection assumes that the fictional realist must provide criteria of identity for fictional characters, so its force depends on the plausibility of that assumption. Rather than (...)
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  • A Plea for Concrete Universals.Eduardo García-Ramírez & Ivan Mayerhofer - 2015 - Critica 47 (139):3-46.
    Este artículo trata el problema de los objetos creados que pueden ser repetidos, como las obras musicales y las literarias. En la sección 2 presentamos una serie de desiderata intuitivos que toda teoría debe satisfacer. En las secciones 3 y 4 presentamos un silogismo disyuntivo extendido. Los objetos en cuestión pueden ser o bien universales concretos, particulares concretos, universales abstractos o particulares abstractos. Mostramos cómo es que las teorías que consideran que son cualquiera de las tres últimas opciones fracasan. Por (...)
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  • Fiction Unlimited.Nathan Wildman & Christian Folde - 2017 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 75 (1):73-80.
    We offer an original argument for the existence of universal fictions—that is, fictions within which every possible proposition is true. Specifically, we detail a trio of such fictions, along with an easy-to-follow recipe for generating more. After exploring several consequences and dismissing some objections, we conclude that fiction, unlike reality, is unlimited when it comes to truth.
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  • Natural Language Ontology.Friederike Moltmann - 2017 - Oxford Encyclopedia of Linguistics.
    The aim of natural language ontology is to uncover the ontological categories and structures that are implicit in the use of natural language, that is, that a speaker accepts when using a language. This article aims to clarify what exactly the subject matter of natural language ontology is, what sorts of linguistic data it should take into account, how natural language ontology relates to other branches of metaphysics, in what ways natural language ontology is important, and what may be distinctive (...)
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  • Truth in Fiction.Franck Lihoreau (ed.) - 2011 - Ontos Verlag.
    The essays collected in this volume are all concerned with the connection between fiction and truth. This question is of utmost importance to metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophical logic and epistemology, raising in each of these areas and at their intersections a large number of issues related to creation, existence, reference, identity, modality, belief, assertion, imagination, pretense, etc. All these topics and many more are addressed in this collection, which brings together original essays written from various points of view by (...)
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  • Against Sainsbury’s Irrealism About Fictional Characters: Harry Potter as an Abstract Artifact.Zsófia Zvolenszky - 2012 - Hungarian Philosophical Review (Magyar Filozófiai Szemle) (4):83-109.
  • Natural Language and its Ontology.Friederike Moltmann - 2019 - In Alvin Goldman & Brian Mclaughlin (eds.), Metaphysics and Cognitive Science. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 206-232.
    This paper gives a characterization of the ontology implicit in natural language and the entities it involves, situates natural language ontology within metaphysics, and responds to Chomskys' dismissal of externalist semantics.
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  • Existence as a Real Property.Francesco Berto - 2012 - Synthèse Library, Springer.
    This book is both an introduction to and a research work on Meinongianism. “Meinongianism” is taken here, in accordance with the common philosophical jargon, as a general label for a set of theories of existence – probably the most basic notion of ontology. As an introduction, the book provides the first comprehensive survey and guide to Meinongianism and non-standard theories of existence in all their main forms. As a research work, the book exposes and develops the most up-to-date Meinongian theory (...)
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  • An Argument for Authorial Creation.Zsófia Zvolenszky - 2015 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 22 (4):461–487.
    Artifactualism about fictional characters, positing Harry Potter as an abstract artifact created by J. K. Rowling, has been criticized on the grounds that the idea of creating such objects is mysterious and problematic. In the light of such qualms, it is worth homing in on an argument in favor of artifactualism, showing that it is the best way to include the likes of Harry Potter in our ontology precisely because it incorporates authorial creation. To that end, I will be exploring (...)
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  • About Nothing.Dale Jacquette - 2013 - Humana Mente 6 (25).
    The possibilities are explored of considering nothing as the intended object of thoughts that are literally about the concept of nothing first, and thereby of nothing. Nothing, on the proposed analysis, turns out to be nothing other than the property of being an intendable object. There are propositions that look to be both true and to be about nothing in the sense of being about the concept and ultimate intended object of what is here formally defined and designated as N-nothing. (...)
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  • Modal Meinongianism and Actuality.Francesco Berto - 2013 - Humana Mente 6 (25).
    Modal Meinongianism is the most recent neo-Meinongian theory. Its main innovation consists in a Comprehension Principle which, unlike other neo-Meinongian approaches, seemingly avoids limitations on the properties that can characterize objects. However, in a recent paper A. Sauchelli has raised an objection against modal Meinongianism, to the effect that properties and relations involving reference to worlds at which they are instantiated, and specifically to the actual world or parts thereof, force a limitation of its Comprehension Principle. The theory, thus, is (...)
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  • Abstract Artifact Theory About Fictional Characters Defended — Why Sainsbury’s Category-Mistake Objection is Mistaken.Zsófia Zvolenszky - 2013 - Proceedings of the European Society for Aesthetics Vol. 5/2013.
    In this paper, I explore a line of argument against one form of realism about fictional characters : abstract artifact theory, the view according to which fictional characters like Harry Potter are part of our reality, but, they are abstract objects created by humans, akin to the institution of marriage and the game of soccer. I will defend artifactualism against an objection that Mark Sainsbury considers decisive against it: the category-mistake objection. The objection has it that artifactualism attributes to people (...)
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  • Fiction and Fabrication.Harry Deutsch - 1985 - Philosophical Studies 47 (2):201 - 211.
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  • “The Story Says That” Operator in Story Semantics.Charles B. Daniels - 1987 - Studia Logica 46 (1):73-86.
    In [2] a semantics for implication is offered that makes use of stories — sets of sentences assembled under various constraints. Sentences are evaluated at an actual world and in each member of a set of stories. A sentence B is true in a story s just when B s. A implies B iff for all stories and the actual world, whenever A is true, B is true. In this article the first-order language of [2] is extended by the addition (...)
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  • The Possibility of Empty Fictions.Nathan Wildman - 2019 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 77 (1):35-42.
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  • A Meinongian Theory of Definite Description.D. Jacquette - 1994 - Axiomathes 5 (2-3):345-359.
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  • Existence and Nonexistents.E. M. Zemach - 1993 - Erkenntnis 39 (2):145 - 166.
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  • Nonexistent Objects.Maria Reicher - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Are there nonexistent objects, i.e., objects that do not exist? Some examples often cited are: Zeus, Pegasus, Sherlock Holmes, Vulcan (the hypothetical planet postulated by the 19th century astronomer Le Verrier), the perpetual motion machine, the golden mountain, the fountain of youth, the round square, etc. Some important philosophers have thought that the very concept of a nonexistent object is contradictory (Hume) or logically ill-formed (Kant, Frege), while others (Leibniz, Meinong, the Russell of Principles of Mathematics) have embraced it wholeheartedly. (...)
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  • Modal Meinongianism for Fictional Objects.Francesco Berto - 2008 - Metaphysica 9 (2):205-218.
    Drawing on different suggestions from the literature, we outline a unified metaphysical framework, labeled as Modal Meinongian Metaphysics (MMM), combining Meinongian themes with a non-standard modal ontology. The MMM approach is based on (1) a comprehension principle (CP) for objects in unrestricted, but qualified form, and (2) the employment of an ontology of impossible worlds, besides possible ones. In §§1–2, we introduce the classical Meinongian metaphysics and consider two famous Russellian criticisms, namely (a) the charge of inconsistency and (b) the (...)
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  • Critical Review of Parsons' Non-Existent Objects. [REVIEW]Kit Fine - 1984 - Philosophical Studies 45 (1):95-142.
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  • The Creator-Determining Problem and Conjunctive Creationism About Fictional Characters.Min Xu - 2015 - Dialogue 54 (3):455-468.
    According to standard Creationism about fictional characters, each fictional character is created by its single author independently, or created by its co-authors cooperatively, or created by its independent authors independently. I argue that standard Creationism faces the Creator-Determining Problem. I propose a non-standard form of Creationism, i.e., Conjunctive Creationism, according to which each fictional character is conjunctively created. I argue that Conjunctive Creationism does not face the Creator-Determining Problem. By responding to four potential worries, I provide a further defense. My (...)
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  • Some Ideas About the Metaphysics of Stories.Wesley D. Cray - 2019 - British Journal of Aesthetics 59 (2):147-160.
    Aaron Smuts has argued that attempts to offer a plausible distinction between stories and tellings will likely face insurmountable difficulties. Here, I offer a distinction between stories and tellings that does not face these difficulties. In doing so, I propose an ontology of stories according to which such entities are ideas for narrative manifestation. In developing this ontology, I also consider parallels between stories and musical compositions.
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  • Eternal Recurrence, Identity and Literary Characters.David Conter - 1992 - Dialogue 31 (4):549-.
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