Authors
Franz Berto
University of St. Andrews
Abstract
In 'Fiction and Fictionalism', Mark Sainsbury has recently dubbed “Selection Problem” a serious trouble for Meinongian object theories. Typically, Meinongianism has been phrased as a kind of realism on nonexistent objects : these are mind-independent things, not mental simulacra, having the properties they have independently from the activity of any cognitive agent. But how can one single out an object we have no causal acquaintance with, and which is devoid of spatiotemporal location, picking it out from a pre-determined, mind-independent set ? In this paper, I set out a line of response by distinguishing different ways in which a thing may not exist. I show that the selection problem (a) does not arise for past, currently nonexistent objects ; (b) may not arise also for future existents (provided one massages naïve intuitions a bit) ; and (c) even for mere possibilia ; but (d) is a real snag for purely fictional objects, such as Holmes or Gandalf. As for (d), I propose a solution that forces Meinongianism to introduce a kind of ontological dependence of purely fictional nonexistents upon existents. The strategy complicates the intuitively simple, naïve Meinongian framework a bit, but looks quite promising.
Keywords Meinongianism  Fictional Objects  Fictionalism  Modal Meinongianism
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References found in this work BETA

Nonexistent Objects.Terence Parsons - 1980 - Yale University Press.
Semantical Considerations on Modal Logic.Saul A. Kripke - 1963 - Acta Philosophica Fennica 16:83-94.
Truth in Fiction.David K. Postscripts to Lewis - 1978 - American Philosophical Quarterly 15 (1):37--46.
Nonexistence.Nathan Salmon - 1998 - Noûs 32 (3):277-319.
Possible Worlds.John Divers - 2002 - Routledge.

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