Pretense, existence, and fictional objects

Abstract
There has recently been considerable interest in accounts of fiction which treat fictional characters as abstract objects. In this paper I argue against this view. More precisely I argue that such accounts are unable to accommodate our intuitions that fictional negative existentials such as “Raskolnikov doesn’t exist” are true. I offer a general argument to this effect and then consider, but reject, some of the accounts of fictional negative existentials offered by abstract object theorists. I then note that some of the sort of data invoked by the abstract object theorist in fact cuts against her position. I concludle that we should not regard fictional characters as abstract objects but rather should adopt a make-believe theoretic account of fictional characters along the lines of those developed by Ken Walton and others.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  Philosophy of Mind
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ISBN(s) 0031-8205
DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2007.00003.x
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References found in this work BETA
On Quantifier Domain Restriction.Jason Stanley & Zoltán Gendler Szabó - 2000 - Mind and Language 15 (2&3):219--61.
Nonexistence.Nathan Salmon - 1998 - Noûs 32 (3):277-319.
Nonexistent Objects.Terence Parsons - 1980 - Yale University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA
Recovering What Is Said With Empty Names.Gualtiero Piccinini & Sam Scott - 2010 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (2):239-273.
Voltolini's Ficta.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2009 - Dialectica 63 (1):57-66.

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