Philosophical Studies 153 (2):183-211 (2011)

Authors
Stacie Friend
Birkbeck, University of London
Abstract
Statements about fictional characters, such as “Gregor Samsa has been changed into a beetle,” pose the problem of how we can say something true (or false) using empty names. I propose an original solution to this problem that construes such utterances as reports of the “prescriptions to imagine” generated by works of fiction. In particular, I argue that we should construe these utterances as specifying, not what we are supposed to imagine—the propositional object of the imagining—but how we are supposed to imagine. Most other theories of thought and discourse about fictional characters either fail to capture the intentionality of our imaginings, or else obscure the differences between imaginings directed toward fictional characters and those directed toward real individuals. I argue that once we have an account of prescriptions to imagine about real individuals, we can adapt the same framework to specify the contents of prescriptions to imagine about fictional characters, and thereby to account for the truth (or falsity) of statements about fictional characters.
Keywords Empty names  Fiction
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-009-9485-4
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References found in this work BETA

Naming and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Harvard University Press.
Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and Other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
Themes From Kaplan.Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.) - 1989 - Oxford University Press.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 431-433.

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Citations of this work BETA

Mental Files: Replies to My Critics.François Recanati - 2013 - Disputatio 5 (36):207-242.
Co‐Identification and Fictional Names.Manuel García‐Carpintero - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (1):3-34.
The New Fiction View of Models.Fiora Salis - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axz015.
Fictional names and individual concepts.Andreas Stokke - 2021 - Synthese 198 (8):7829-7859.

View all 25 citations / Add more citations

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