Real Representation of Fictional Objects


Authors
Luke Manning
Auburn University
Abstract
ABSTRACTAssuming there are fictional objects, what sorts of properties do they have? Intuitively, most of their properties involve being represented—appearing in works of fiction, being depicted as clever, being portrayed by actors, being admired or feared, and so on. But several philosophers, including Saul Kripke, Peter van Inwagen, Kendall Walton, and Amie Thomasson, argue that even if there are fictional objects, they are not really represented in some or all of these cases. I reconstruct four kinds of arguments for this unexpected conclusion; they concern the semantics of names, pragmatic force, creation, and representations’ qualitative content. But I find all the arguments flawed. I then argue for the contrary, employing a new perspective: representation of fictional objects begins with the works of fiction that originate them. A work of fiction represents its “native” objects because our culture bestows that property on it. I sketch conditions for such property bestowal and argue that they are satisfied in this case.
Keywords fictional objects  representation  fictional names  cultural facts
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DOI 10.1111/jaac.2014.72.issue-1
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Citations of this work BETA

Semantics of Fictional Terms.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2019 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 38 (2):73-100.
Co‐Identification and Fictional Names.Manuel García‐Carpintero - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.

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