Fictional names and individual concepts

Synthese 198 (8):7829-7859 (2021)

Abstract

This paper defends a version of the realist view that fictional characters exist. It argues for an instance of abstract realist views, according to which fictional characters are roles, constituted by sets of properties. It is argued that fictional names denote individual concepts, functions from worlds to individuals. It is shown that a dynamic framework for understanding the evolution of discourse information can be used to understand how roles are created and develop along with story content. Taking fictional names to denote individual concepts provides accounts of a number of uses of fictional names. These include non-fictional uses, fictional uses, metafictional uses, interfictional uses, counterfictional uses, and negative existentials. It is argued that this account is not open to objections that have been raised in the literature.

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Author's Profile

Andreas Stokke
Uppsala University

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Meaning and Necessity: A Study in Semantics and Modal Logic.Rudolf Carnap - 1947 - Chicago, IL, USA: University of Chicago Press.
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Naming and Necessity.S. Kripke - 1972 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 45 (4):665-666.

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Citations of this work

The Semantics of Fiction.Manuel García-Carpintero - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
Fiction and Importation.Andreas Stokke - 2022 - Linguistics and Philosophy 45 (1):65-89.
Predelli on Fictional Discourse.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2022 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 80 (1):83-94.
Rethinking Role Realism.Daniela Glavaničová - 2021 - British Journal of Aesthetics 61 (1):59-74.
Free Indirect Discourse in Non-Fiction.Andreas Stokke - 2021 - Frontiers in Communication 5 (606616).

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