Philosophical Studies 152 (3):313-35 (2011)

Authors
Franz Berto
University of St. Andrews
Abstract
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 two methodological principles, called the Minimal Revision and the Acceptability Constraint. In Sect. 2, we introduce the standard distinction between internal and external fictional discourse. In Sects. 3–5, we discuss the approaches of (traditional) Meinongianism, Fictionalism, and Realism—and their main troubles. In Sect. 6 we propose our MMM approach. This is based upon (1) a modal semantics including impossible worlds (Subsect. 6.1); (2) a qualified Comprehension Principle for objects (Subsect. 6.2); (3) a notion of existence-entailment for properties (Subsect. 6.3). In Sect. 7 we present a formal semantics for MMM based upon a representation operator. And in Sect. 8 we have a look at how MMM solves the problems of the three aforementioned theories.
Keywords Fictional objects  Meinongianism  Modal Meinongianism  Fictionalism
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Reprint years 2012
DOI 10.1007/s11098-009-9479-2
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References found in this work BETA

On Denoting.Bertrand Russell - 1905 - Mind 14 (56):479-493.
On Denoting.Bertrand Russell - 2005 - Mind 114 (456):873 - 887.
Nonexistent Objects.Terence Parsons - 1980 - Yale University Press.
Truth in Fiction.David K. Postscripts to Lewis - 1978 - American Philosophical Quarterly 15 (1):37--46.

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Citations of this work BETA

Theories of Aboutness.Peter Hawke - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (4):697-723.
The Nature of Model-World Comparisons.Fiora Salis - 2016 - The Monist 99 (3):243-259.
Fictional Entities.Fiora Salis - 2013 - Online Companion to Problems in Analytic Philosophy.
Noneism, Ontology, and Fundamentality.Tatjana Von Solodkoff & Richard Woodward - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (3):558-583.

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