Metaphor, Fictionalism, Make-Believe: Response to Elisabeth Camp


Prop oriented make-believe is make-believe utilized for the purpose of understanding what I call “props,” actual objects or states of affairs that make propositions “fictional,” true in the make-believe world. I, David Hills, and others have claimed that prop oriented make-believe lies at the heart of the functioning of many metaphors, and one variety of fictionalism in metaphysics invokes prop oriented make-believe to explain away apparent references to entities some find questionable or problematic (fictional characters, propositions, moral properties, numbers). Elisabeth Camp has argued against my and David Hills’ views of metaphor. Her arguments, many of them echoed by Catharine Wearing, demolish a very implausible account of metaphor, but leave entirely untouched the views that Hills and I actually proposed. Clarifying what we say about metaphor serves also as a defense of fictionalist theories that invoke prop oriented make-believe



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Kendall Walton
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Citations of this work

The what and the how of metaphorical imagining, Part One.David Hills - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (1):13--31.

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References found in this work

Mimesis as Make-Believe: On the Foundations of the Representational Arts.Kendall L. Walton - 1990 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 49 (2):161-166.
Go figure: A path through fictionalism.Stephen Yablo - 2001 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 25 (1):72–102.
Does Ontology Rest on a Mistake?Stephen Yablo - 1998 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 72 (1):229 - 283.

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