Dialectica 57 (2):239-242 (2003)

Authors
Kendall Walton
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Abstract
Realist theories about fictional entities must explain the fact that, in ordinary contexts people deny, apparently in all seriousness, that there are such things as the Big Bad Wolf and Santa Claus. The usual explanation treats these denials as involving restricted quantification: The speaker is said to be denying only that the Big Bad Wolf and Santa Claus are to be found among real or actual things, not that there are no such things at all. This is unconvincing. The denials may just as naturally be phrased as “The Big Bad Wolf and Santa Claus don't exist”, and claims of nonexistence seem not to admit of interpretations corresponding to statements of restricted quantification. Ordinary denials of the existence of fictional entities constitute a severe difficulty for realist theories.
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DOI 10.1111/dltc.2003.57.issue-2
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References found in this work BETA

Speaking of Nothing.Keith S. Donnellan - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (1):3-31.
Fictional Characters and Literary Practices.Amie L. Thomasson - 2003 - British Journal of Aesthetics 43 (2):138-157.
Are There Nonexistent Objects?Terence Parsons - 1982 - American Philosophical Quarterly 19 (4):365 - 371.
Non-Existent Objects.Kit Fine - 1984 - Philosophical Studies 45 (1):95-142.

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Citations of this work BETA

Fictional Realism and Negative Existentials.Tatjana von Solodkoff - 2014 - In Manuel García-Carpintero & Genoveva Martí (eds.), Empty Representations: Reference and Non-Existence. Oxford University Press. pp. 333-352.

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