Results for 'Fictionalism'

606 found
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  1. Hermeneutic fictionalism.Jason Stanley - 2001 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 25 (1):36–71.
    Fictionalist approaches to ontology have been an accepted part of philosophical methodology for some time now. On a fictionalist view, engaging in discourse that involves apparent reference to a realm of problematic entities is best viewed as engaging in a pretense. Although in reality, the problematic entities do not exist, according to the pretense we engage in when using the discourse, they do exist. In the vocabulary of Burgess and Rosen (1997, p. 6), a nominalist construal of a given discourse (...)
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  2. Modal fictionalism.Gideon Rosen - 1990 - Mind 99 (395):327-354.
  3. Scientific Fictionalism and the Problem of Inconsistency in Nietzsche.Justin Remhof - 2016 - Journal of Nietzsche Studies 47 (2):238-246.
    Fictionalism plays a significant role in philosophy today, with defenses spanning mathematics, morality, ordinary objects, truth, modality, and more.1 Fictionalism in the philosophy of science is also gaining attention, due in particular to the revival of Hans Vaihinger’s work from the early twentieth century and to heightened interest in idealization in scientific practice.2 Vaihinger maintains that there is a ubiquity of fictions in science and, among other things, argues that Nietzsche supports the position. Yet, while contemporary commentators have (...)
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  4. Fictionalism and the folk.Adam Toon - 2016 - The Monist 99 (3):280-295.
    Mental fictionalism is the view that, even if mental states do not exist, it is useful to talk as if they do. Mental states are useful fictions. Recent philosophy of mind has seen a growing interest in mental fictionalism. To date, much of the discussion has concerned the general features of the approach. In this paper, I develop a specific form of mental fictionalism by drawing on Kendall Walton’s work on make-believe. According to the approach I propose, (...)
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  5. Fictionalism about Neural Representations.Mark Sprevak - 2013 - The Monist 96 (4):539-560.
    This paper explores a novel form of Mental Fictionalism: Fictionalism about talk of neural representations in cognitive science. This type of Fictionalism promises to (i) avoid the hard problem of naturalising representations, without (ii) incurring the high costs of eliminating useful representation talk. In this paper, I motivate and articulate this form of Fictionalism, and show that, despite its apparent advantages, it faces two serious objections. These objections are: (1) Fictionalism about talk of neural representations (...)
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  6. Mental Fictionalism As an Undermotivated Theory.Miklós Márton & János Tözsér - 2013 - The Monist 96 (4):622-638.
    Our paper consists of three parts. In the first part we explain the concept of mental fictionalism. In the second part, we present the various versions of fictionalism and their main sources of motivation.We do this because in the third part we argue that mental fictionalism, as opposed to other versions of fictionalism, is a highly undermotivated theory.
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  7. Can Fictionalists Have Faith?Finlay Malcolm - 2018 - Religious Studies 54 (2):215-232.
    According to non-doxastic theories of propositional faith, belief that p is not necessary for faith that p. Rather, propositional faith merely requires a ‘positive cognitive attitude’. This broad condition, however, can be satisfied by several pragmatic approaches to a domain, including fictionalism. This paper shows precisely how fictionalists can have faith given non-doxastic theory, and explains why this is problematic. It then explores one means of separating the two theories, in virtue of the fact that the truth of the (...)
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  8. Fictionalism and the incompleteness problem.Lukas Skiba - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1349-1362.
    Modal fictionalists face a problem that arises due to their possible-world story being incomplete in the sense that certain relevant claims are neither true nor false according to it. It has recently been suggested that this incompleteness problem generalises to other brands of fictionalism, such as fictionalism about composite or mathematical objects. In this paper, I argue that these fictionalist positions are particularly threatened by a generalised incompleteness problem since they cannot emulate the modal fictionalists’ most attractive response. (...)
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  9. Fictionalism, the Safety Result and counterpossibles.Lukas Skiba - 2019 - Analysis 79 (4):647-658.
    Fictionalists maintain that possible worlds, numbers or composite objects exist only according to theories which are useful but false. Hale, Divers and Woodward have provided arguments which threaten to show that fictionalists must be prepared to regard the theories in question as contingently, rather than necessarily, false. If warranted, this conclusion would significantly limit the appeal of the fictionalist strategy rendering it unavailable to anyone antecedently convinced that mathematics and metaphysics concern non-contingent matters. I try to show that their arguments (...)
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  10. Fictionalism in Ontology.Achille C. Varzi - 2013 - In Carola Barbero, Maurizio Ferraris & Alberto Voltolini (eds.), From Fictionalism to Realism. Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 133–151.
    Fictionalism in ontology is a mixed bag. Here I focus on three main variants—which I label after the names of Pascal, Berkeley, and Hume—and consider their relative strengths and weaknesses. The first variant is just a version of the epistemic Wager, applied across the board. The second variant builds instead on the fact that ordinary language is not ontologically transparent; we speak with the vulgar, but deep down we think with the learned. Finally, on the Humean variant it’s the (...)
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  11. A fictionalist account of the indispensable applications of mathematics.Mark Balaguer - 1996 - Philosophical Studies 83 (3):291 - 314.
    The main task of this paper is to defend anti-platonism by providing an anti-platonist (in particular, a fictionalist) account of the indispensable applications of mathematics to empirical science.
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  12. Fictionalism in Metaphysics.Mark Eli Kalderon (ed.) - 2005 - New York: Oxford University Press UK.
    Fictionalism is the view that a serious intellectual inquiry need not aim at truth. It came to prominence in philosophy in 1980, when Hartry Field argued that mathematics does not have to be true to be good, and Bas van Fraassen argued that the aim of science is not truth but empirical adequacy. Both suggested that the acceptance of a mathematical or scientific theory need not involve belief in its content. Thus the distinctive commitment of fictionalism is that (...)
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  13. A fictionalist theory of universals.Tim Button & Robert Trueman - forthcoming - In Peter Fritz & Nicholas K. Jones (eds.), Higher-Order Metaphysics. Oxford University Press.
    Universals are putative objects like wisdom, morality, redness, etc. Although we believe in properties (which, we argue, are not a kind of object), we do not believe in universals. However, a number of ordinary, natural language constructions seem to commit us to their existence. In this paper, we provide a fictionalist theory of universals, which allows us to speak as if universals existed, whilst denying that any really do.
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  14. Fictionalism and the attitudes.Chris John Daly - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 139 (3):423 - 440.
    This paper distinguishes revolutionary fictionalism from other forms of fictionalism and also from other philosophical views. The paper takes fictionalism about mathematical objects and fictionalism about scientific unobservables as illustrations. The paper evaluates arguments that purport to show that this form of fictionalism is incoherent on the grounds that there is no tenable distinction between believing a sentence and taking the fictionalist's distinctive attitude to that sentence. The argument that fictionalism about mathematics is ‘comically (...)
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  15. Causal Fictionalism.Antony Eagle - forthcoming - In Yafeng Shan (ed.), Alternative Philosophical Approaches to Causation: Beyond Difference-making and Mechanism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Causation appears to present us with an interpretative difficulty. While arguably a redundant relation given fundamental physics, it is nevertheless apparently pragmatically indispensable. This chapter revisits certain arguments made previously by the author for these claims with the benefit of hindsight, starting with the role of causal models in the human sciences, and attempting to explain why it is not possible to straightforwardly ground such models in fundamental physics. This suggests that further constraints, going beyond physics, are needed to legitimate (...)
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  16. Fictionalism.Matti Eklund - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  17. Fictionalism versus Deflationism.Amie Thomasson - 2013 - Mind 122 (488):1023-1051.
    Fictionalism has long presented an attractive alternative to both heavy-duty realist and simple eliminativist views about entities such as properties, propositions, numbers, and possible worlds. More recently, a different alternative to these traditional views has been gaining popularity: a form of deflationism that holds that trivial arguments may lead us from uncontroversial premisses to conclude that the relevant entities exist — but where commitment to the entities is a trivial consequence of other claims we accept, not a posit to (...)
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  18. Moral fictionalism versus the rest.Daniel Nolan, Greg Restall & Caroline West - 2005 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (3):307 – 330.
    In this paper we introduce a distinct metaethical position, fictionalism about morality. We clarify and defend the position, showing that it is a way to save the 'moral phenomena' while agreeing that there is no genuine objective prescriptivity to be described by moral terms. In particular, we distinguish moral fictionalism from moral quasi-realism, and we show that fictionalism possesses the virtues of quasi-realism about morality, but avoids its vices.
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  19.  94
    Moral Fictionalism.Daniel Nolan - 2012 - Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Moral fictionalism is the doctrine that the moral claims we accept should be treated as convenient fictions. One standard kind of moral fictionalism maintains that many of the moral claims we ordinarily accept are in fact false, but these claims are still useful to produce and accept, despite this falsehood. -/- Moral fictionalists claim they can recover many of the benefits of the use of moral concepts and moral language, without the theoretical costs incurred by rivals such as (...)
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  20. Moral Fictionalism.Mark Eli Kalderon - 2005 - Oxford, GB: Clarendon Press.
    Mark Eli Kalderon argues that morality is a fiction by means of which our emotional attitudes are conveyed. This is an improvement on the standard noncognitivist view, which denies that moral judgement is belief but claims instead that it is the expression of an emotional attitude. Noncognitivists tend to deny that moral sentences even purport to represent moral reality, and so they have developed non-standard semantics for moral discourse. Kalderon's fictionalism shows that noncognitivism can manage without such controversial semantics. (...)
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  21. Fictionalism in the philosophy of mathematics.Mark Balaguer - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Mathematical fictionalism (or as I'll call it, fictionalism) is best thought of as a reaction to mathematical platonism. Platonism is the view that (a) there exist abstract mathematical objects (i.e., nonspatiotemporal mathematical objects), and (b) our mathematical sentences and theories provide true descriptions of such objects. So, for instance, on the platonist view, the sentence ‘3 is prime’ provides a straightforward description of a certain object—namely, the number 3—in much the same way that the sentence ‘Mars is red’ (...)
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  22. Fictionalist Strategies in Metaphysics.Lukas Skiba & Richard Woodward - 2020 - In Ricki Bliss & James Miller (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics. New York, NY, USA:
    This paper discusses the nature of, problems for, and benefits delivered by fictionalist strategies in metaphysics.
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  23. Religious fictionalism.Michael Scott & Finlay Malcolm - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (3):1-11.
    Religious fictionalism is the theory that it is morally and intellectually legitimate to affirm religious sentences and to engage in public and private religious practices, without believing the content of religious claims. This article discusses the main features of fictionalism, contrasts hermeneutic, and revolutionary kinds of fictionalism and explores possible historical and recent examples of religious fictionalism. Such examples are found in recent theories of faith, pragmatic approaches to religion, and mystical traditions in religious theology.
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  24. Modal fictionalism and possible-worlds discourse.David Liggins - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 138 (2):151-60.
    The Brock-Rosen problem has been one of the most thoroughly discussed objections to the modal fictionalism bruited in Gideon Rosen’s ‘Modal Fictionalism’. But there is a more fundamental problem with modal fictionalism, at least as it is normally explained: the position does not resolve the tension that motivated it. I argue that if we pay attention to a neglected aspect of modal fictionalism, we will see how to resolve this tension—and we will also find a persuasive (...)
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  25. Temporal Fictionalism for a Timeless World.Sam Baron, Kristie Miller & Jonathan Tallant - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (2):281-301.
    Current debate in the metaphysics of time ordinarily assumes that we should be realists about time. Recently, however, a number of physicists and philosophers of physics have proposed that time will play no role in a completed theory of quantum gravity. This paper defends fictionalism about temporal thought, on the supposition that our world is timeless. We argue that, in the face of timeless physical theories, realism about temporal thought is unsustainable: some kind of anti-realism must be adopted. We (...)
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  26. Fictionalism, theft, and the story of mathematics.Mark Balaguer - 2009 - Philosophia Mathematica 17 (2):131-162.
    This paper develops a novel version of mathematical fictionalism and defends it against three objections or worries, viz., (i) an objection based on the fact that there are obvious disanalogies between mathematics and fiction; (ii) a worry about whether fictionalism is consistent with the fact that certain mathematical sentences are objectively correct whereas others are incorrect; and (iii) a recent objection due to John Burgess concerning “hermeneuticism” and “revolutionism”.
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  27.  87
    Faith, fictionalism and bullshit.Michael Scott - 2020 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 9 (2):94-104.
    According to a simple formulation of doxasticism about propositional faith, necessarily faith that p requires belief that p. Support of doxasticism is long-standing and was rarely a matter of dispute until William Alston (1996) proposed that that the content of propositional faith need not be believed if it is accepted. Subsequently non-doxastic theories that reject the belief requirement have proliferated and have come to dominate literature in the field. This paper aims to redress the balance by identifying a dilemma for (...)
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  28. Revolutionary Fictionalism: A Call to Arms.Mary Leng - 2005 - Philosophia Mathematica 13 (3):277-293.
    This paper responds to John Burgess's ‘Mathematics and _Bleak House_’. While Burgess's rejection of hermeneutic fictionalism is accepted, it is argued that his two main attacks on revolutionary fictionalism fail to meet their target. Firstly, ‘philosophical modesty’ should not prevent philosophers from questioning the truth of claims made within successful practices, provided that the utility of those practices as they stand can be explained. Secondly, Carnapian scepticism concerning the meaningfulness of _metaphysical_ existence claims has no force against a (...)
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  29. Modal fictionalism.Daniel Nolan - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Questions about necessity (or what has to be, or what cannot be otherwise) and possibility (or what can be, or what could be otherwise) are questions about modality. Fictionalism is an approach to theoretical matters in a given area which treats the claims in that area as being in some sense analogous to fictional claims: claims we do not literally accept at face value, but which we nevertheless think serve some useful function. However, despite its name, “Modal Fictionalism (...)
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  30. Buddhist Fictionalism.Mario D’Amato - 2013 - Sophia 52 (3):409-424.
    Questions regarding what exists are central to various forms of Buddhist philosophy, as they are to many traditions of philosophy. Interestingly, there is perhaps a clearer consensus in Buddhist thought regarding what does not exist than there may be regarding precisely what does exist, at least insofar as the doctrine of anātman (no self, absence of self) is taken to be a fundamental Buddhist doctrine. It may be noted that many forms of Mahāyāna Buddhist philosophy in particular are considered to (...)
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  31. Fictionalism About Fictional Characters Revisited.Stuart Brock - 2016 - Res Philosophica 93 (2):377-403.
    Fictionalism about fictional characters is a view according to which all claims ostensibly about fictional characters are in fact claims about the content of a story. Claims that appear to refer to or quantify over fictional objects contain an implicit prefix of the form “according to such-and-such story. In.
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  32.  28
    Fictionalism, Indifferentism, and Easy Ontology.Daniel Z. Korman - unknown
    Fictionalism is supposed to be motivated, at least in part, by its ability to undermine our ordinary grounds for believing in numbers and other contested entities. Eklund argues that a weaker and less controversial view, which he calls indifferentism, can do the job just as effectively. I will show that whether he’s right about this depends upon how we think about “our ordinary grounds”. If we think about our ordinary grounds as consisting in what people are pre-theoretically inclined to (...)
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  33. Faith, Belief and Fictionalism.Finlay Malcolm & Michael Scott - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):257-274.
    Is propositional religious faith constituted by belief? Recent debate has focussed on whether faith may be constituted by a positive non-doxastic cognitive state, which can stand in place of belief. This paper sets out and defends the doxastic theory. We consider and reject three arguments commonly used in favour of non-doxastic theories of faith: (1) the argument from religious doubt; (2) the use of ‘faith’ in linguistic utterances; and (3) the possibility of pragmatic faith. We argue that belief is required (...)
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  34. Modal Fictionalism Fixed.Gideon Rosen - 1995 - Analysis 55 (2):67-73.
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  35. Fictionalism.Arthur Fine - 1993 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 18 (1):1-18.
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  36. Mental Fictionalism.Meg Wallace - 2022 - In Tamas Demeter, Adam Toon & T. Parent (eds.), Mental Fictionalism: Philosophical Explorations. Routledge. pp. 27-51.
    There is uneasy tension between our ordinary talk about beliefs and desires and the ontological facts supported by neuroscience. Arguments for eliminative materialism are persuasive, yet error theory about folk psychological discourse seems unacceptable. One solution is to accept mental fictionalism: the view that we are (or should be) fictionalists about mentality. My aim in this paper is to explore mental fictionalism as a viable theoretical option, and to show that it has advantages over other fictionalist views in (...)
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  37. Mental Fictionalism: the costly combination of magic and the mind.Amber Ross - forthcoming - In T. Parent & Adam Toon Tamas Demeter (ed.), Mental Fictionalism: Philosophical Explorations.
    Mental fictionalism is not the benign view that we may better understand the mind if we think of mental states as something like useful fictions, but the more radical view that mental states just are useful fictions. This paper argues that, if one were to treat mental states as a kind of fiction, the genre of fiction best suited to this purpose would be fantasy make-believe, in which magic is a central feature. After defending a promising fictionalist account of (...)
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  38.  49
    Religious fictionalism and the problem of evil.Jon Robson - 2015 - Religious Studies 51 (3):353-360.
    The problem of evil is typically presented as a problem – sometimes the problem – facing theistic realists. This article takes no stance on what effect (if any) the existence of evil has on the rationality of theistic belief. Instead, it explores the possibility of using the problem of evil to generate worries for some of those who reject theistic realism. Although this article focuses on the consequences for a particular kind of religious fictionalist, the lessons adduced are intended to (...)
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  39. Pretence Fictionalism about the Non-Present.Kristie Miller - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Presentists hold that only present things exist. But we all, presentists included, utter sentences that appear to involve quantification over non-present objects, and so we all, presentists included, seem to commit ourselves to such objects. Equally, we all, presentists included, take utterances of many past-tensed (and some future-tensed) sentences to be true. But if no past or future things exist, it’s hard to see how there can be anything that those utterances are about, which makes them true. This paper presents (...)
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  40.  84
    Pretense and Pathology: Philosophical Fictionalism and its Applications.Bradley Armour-Garb & James A. Woodbridge - 2015 - Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. Edited by James A. Woodbridge.
    In this book, Bradley Armour-Garb and James A. Woodbridge distinguish various species of fictionalism, locating and defending their own version of philosophical fictionalism. Addressing semantic and philosophical puzzles that arise from ordinary language, they consider such issues as the problem of non-being, plural identity claims, mental-attitude ascriptions, meaning attributions, and truth-talk. They consider 'deflationism about truth', explaining why deflationists should be fictionalists, and show how their philosophical fictionalist account of truth-talk underwrites a dissolution of the Liar Paradox and (...)
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  41. Fictionalism about musical works.Anton Killin - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (2):266-291.
    The debate concerning the ontological status of musical works is perhaps the most animated debate in contemporary analytic philosophy of music. In my view, progress requires a piecemeal approach. So in this article I hone in on one particular musical work concept – that of the classical Western art musical work; that is, the work concept that regulates classical art-musical practice. I defend a fictionalist analysis – a strategy recently suggested by Andrew Kania as potentially fruitful – and I develop (...)
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  42.  65
    Mental Fictionalism: Philosophical Explorations.Tamás Demeter, T. Parent & Adam Toon (eds.) - 2022 - New York & London: Routledge.
    What are mental states? When we talk about people’s beliefs or desires, are we talking about what is happening inside their heads? If so, might cognitive science show that we are wrong? Might it turn out that mental states do not exist? Mental fictionalism offers a new approach to these longstanding questions about the mind. Its core idea is that mental states are useful fictions. When we talk about mental states, we are not formulating hypotheses about people’s inner machinery. (...)
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  43. Moral fictionalism, the Frege-Geach problem, and reasonable inference.Mark Eli Kalderon - 2008 - Analysis 68 (2):133-143.
    CHANGE SLIDE Go through outline of talk CHANGE SLIDE It is my sincerest hope that if there is one thing that people take away from Moral Fictionalism, it is the recognition that standard noncognitivism involves a syndrome of three, logically distinct claims. Standard noncognitivists claim that moral judgment is not belief or any other cognitive attitude but is, rather, a noncognitive attitude more akin to desire; that this noncognitive attitude is expressed by our public moral utterances; and, hence, that (...)
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  44. Fictionalism and Incompleteness.Richard Woodward - 2011 - Noûs 46 (4):781-790.
    The modal fictionalist faces a problem due to the fact that her chosen story seems to be incomplete—certain things are neither fictionally true nor fictionally false. The significance of this problem is not localized to modal fictionalism, however, since many fictionalists will face it too. By examining how the fictionalist should analyze the notion of truth according to her story, and, in particular, the role that conditionals play for the fictionalist, I develop a novel and elegant solution to the (...)
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  45. Metaphor, Fictionalism, Make-Believe: Response to Elisabeth Camp.Kendall L. Walton - manuscript
    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). (...)
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  46.  16
    Fictionalism about Chatbots.Fintan Mallory - 2023 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 10.
    According to widely accepted views in metasemantics, the outputs of chatbots and other artificial text generators should be meaningless. They aren’t produced with communicative intentions and the systems producing them are not following linguistic conventions. Nevertheless, chatbots have assumed roles in customer service and healthcare, they are spreading information and disinformation and, in some cases, it may be more rational to trust the outputs of bots than those of our fellow human beings. To account for the epistemic role of chatbots (...)
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  47.  9
    Fictionalism: The Art of Teaching Truth Disguised as Lies.Johan Dahlbeck - 2023 - BRILL.
    Fictionalism confronts the dual epistemological nature of education. In this book, Johan Dahlbeck argues that all education, at bottom, concerns a striving for truth initiated through fictions. This foundational aporia is then interrogated and made sense of via Hans Vaihinger’s philosophy of ‘as if’ and Spinoza’s peculiar form of exemplarism. Using a variety of fictional examples, Dahlbeck investigates the different dimensions of educational fictionalism, from teacher exemplarism to the basic educational fictions necessary for getting started in education in (...)
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  48. Fictionalism in Metaphysics.Frederick Kroon - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (11):786-803.
    This is a survey of contemporary work on ‘fictionalism in metaphysics’, a term that is taken to signify both the place of fictionalism as a distinctive anti‐realist metaphysics in which usefulness rather than truth is the norm of acceptance, and the fact that philosophers have given fictionalist treatments of a range of specifically metaphysical notions.
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  49. Fictionalism about fictional characters.Stuart Brock - 2002 - Noûs 36 (1):1–21.
    Despite protestations to the contrary, philosophers have always been renowned for espousing theories that do violence to common-sense opinion. In the last twenty years or so there has been a growing number of philosophers keen to follow in this tradition. According to these philosophers, if a story of pure fic-tion tells us that an individual exists, then there really is such an individual. According to these realists about fictional characters, ‘Scarlett O’Hara,’ ‘Char-lie Brown,’ ‘Batman,’ ‘Superman,’ ‘Tweedledum’ and ‘Tweedledee’ are not (...)
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  50.  84
    Mental Fictionalism: A Foothold amid Deflationary Collapse.Meg Wallace - 2022 - In Adam Toon, Tamas Demeter & T. Parent (eds.), Mental Fictionalism: Philosophical Explorations. Routledge. pp. 275-300.
    This is my second entry in Mental Fictionalism: Philosophical Explorations. It examines three meta-ontological deflationary approaches - frameworks, verbal disputes, and metalinguistic negotiation - and applies them to ontological debates in philosophy of mind. An intriguing consequence of this application is that it reveals a deep, systematic problem for mental deflationism – specifically, a problem of cognitive collapse. This is surprising. Cognitive collapse problems are usually reserved for serious ontological views such as eliminative materialism and mental fictionalism, not (...)
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