Fictions in arts, myths and dreams: A semantic approach

Ideas Y Valores 55 (131):73-96 (2006)

The world, or worlds, in which we live, contain symbols as well as real objects. We use symbols both to refer to real objects and to speak of fictions. In this paper, I will introduce some elements for a semantic approach to fiction. I will depart from an inscriptional theory of fiction, and will apply this theory to different fields, covering myths, dreams and works of art. Many of the ideas I advance here are inspired by the philosophy of Nelson Goodman. However, in this paper I will extend to myths and dreams some ideas he applies only to the arts. Scheffler's idea of mention - selection which he introduced for the treatment of fictions and applied also to ritual practices will be a resource in the development of my approach. I use some conceptual tools to gain a better understanding of Freud's treatment of dreams, taking into account Wittgenstein's criticism of psychoanalysis. In the final section of this paper, I will evaluate some alternatives to the proposal developed here, so we can best appreciate the advantages of the semantic approach, or at least how it can complement the pragmatic approach.
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