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  1. What We Talk About When We Talk About Mental States.Zoe Drayson - forthcoming - In Tamas Demeter, T. Parent & Adam Toon (eds.), Mental Fictionalism: Philosophical Explorations.
    Fictionalists propose that some apparently fact-stating discourses do not aim to convey factual information about the world, but rather allow us to engage in a fiction or pretense without incurring ontological commitments. Some philosophers have suggested that using mathematical, modal, or moral discourse, for example, need not commit us to the existence of mathematical objects, possible worlds, or moral facts. The mental fictionalist applies this reasoning to our mental discourse, suggesting that we can use ‘belief’ and ‘desire’ talk without committing (...)
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  2. 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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  3. 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 mental (...)
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  4. Minds, Materials and Metaphors.Adam Toon - forthcoming - Philosophy.
    What is the relationship between mental states and items of material culture, like notebooks, maps or lists? The extended mind thesis (ExM) offers an influential and controversial answer to this question. According to ExM, items of material culture can form part of the material basis for our mental states. Although ExM offers a radical view of the location of mental states, it fits comfortably with a traditional, representationalist account of the nature of those states. I argue that proponents of ExM (...)
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  5. Mental Fictionalism.Meg Wallace - forthcoming - In Tamas Demeter, T. Parent & Adam Toon (eds.), Mental Fictionalism: Philosophical Explorations.
    There is an uneasy tension between our ordinary talk about beliefs and desires and the ontological facts supported by neuroscience. Arguments for eliminative materialism can be fairly persuasive, yet error theory about folk psychological discourse may be 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 (...)
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  6. Mental Fictionalism: A Foothold Amid Deflationary Collapse.Meg Wallace - forthcoming - In Tamas Demeter, Adam Toon & T. Parent (eds.), Mental Fictionalism: Philosophical Explorations.
    This paper 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 deflationism. This paper investigates why deflationism about the mental is particularly (...)
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  7. Review of Brock and Everett (Eds.) Fictional Objects. [REVIEW]Lee Walters - forthcoming - British Journal of Aesthetics.
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  8. How Can Buddhists Prove That Non-Existent Things Do Not Exist?Koji Tanaka - 2021 - In Sara Bernstein & Tyron Goldschmidt (eds.), Non-Being: New Essay on the Metaphysics of Non-Existence. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 82-96.
    How can Buddhists prove that non-existent things do not exist? With great difficulty. For the Buddhist, this is not a laughing matter as they are largely global error theorists and, thus, many things are non-existent. The difficulty gets compounded as the Buddhist and their opponent, the non-Buddhist of various kinds, both agree that one cannot prove a thesis whose subject is non-existent. In this paper, I will first present a difficulty that Buddhist philosophers have faced in proving that what they (...)
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  9. Fictional Expectations and the Ontology of Power.Torsten Menge - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (29):1-22.
    What kind of thing, as it were, is power and how does it fit into our understanding of the social world? I approach this question by exploring the pragmatic character of power ascriptions, arguing that they involve fictional expectations directed at an open future. When we take an agent to be powerful, we act as if that agent had a robust capacity to make a difference to the actions of others. While this pretense can never fully live up to a (...)
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  10. 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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  11. As If: Idealization and Ideals, by Kwame Anthony Appiah.Adam Toon - 2020 - Mind 129 (513):275-283.
    As If: Idealization and Ideals, by AppiahKwame Anthony. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2017. Pp. xvi + 218.
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  12. 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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  13. 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 propositions (...)
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  14. Релігійні виміри сучасної літератури фентезі.Sviatoslav Piven - 2018 - NaUKMA Researh Papers. Literary Studies 1:114-120.
    У статті розглянуто, як у сучасній літературі фентезі (на прикладі циклів «Відьмацька сага» Анджея Сапковського, «Пісня Льоду й Полум’я» Джорджа Мартіна та «Зворотний бік» Дари Корній) висвітлюється проблема релігії. Увага автора статті головно зосереджується на таких питаннях: як на висвітлення проблеми релігії у згаданих творах вплинула секуляризація суспільства, які саме релігійні образи та мотиви, образи релігійних інституцій наявні в творах, яке значення автори творів надають релігії у житті людини.
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  15. Prolegomena zu einer jeden künftigen '(Nicht-)Metaphysik' der Religion: (Anti-)Realismus, (Non-)Kognitivismus und die religiöse Imagination.Amber Griffioen - 2016 - In Rico Gutschmidt & Thomas Rentsch (eds.), Gott ohne Theismus. Münster, Germany: pp. 127-147.
    In this chapter, I first explore the possible meanings of the expression 'non-metaphysical religion' and its relation to the realism and cognitivism debates (as well as these debates' relation to each other). I then sketch out and defend the germs of an alternative semantics for religious language that I call 'religious imaginativism'. This semantics attempts to move us away from the realism-antirealism debates in Philosophy of Religion and in this sense might count as 'non-metaphysical'. At the same time, it allows (...)
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  16. Ontology and Metaontology: A Contemporary Guide.Francesco Berto & Matteo Plebani - 2015 - Bloomsbury Academic.
    'Ontology and Metaontology: A Contemporary Guide' is a clear and accessible survey of ontology, focussing on the most recent trends in the discipline. -/- Divided into parts, the first half characterizes metaontology: the discourse on the methodology of ontological inquiry, covering the main concepts, tools, and methods of the discipline, exploring the notions of being and existence, ontological commitment, paraphrase strategies, fictionalist strategies, and other metaontological questions. The second half considers a series of case studies, introducing and familiarizing the reader (...)
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  17. Religion for Naturalists.Natalja Deng - 2015 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 78 (2):195-214.
    Some naturalists feel an affinity with some religions, or with a particular religion. They may have previously belonged to it, and/or been raised in it, and/or be close to people who belong to it, and/or simply feel attracted to its practices, texts and traditions. This raises the question of whether and to what extent a naturalist can lead the life of a religious believer. The sparse literature on this topic focuses on religious fictionalism. I also frame the debate in these (...)
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  18. From Mathematical Fictionalism to Truth‐Theoretic Fictionalism.Bradley Armour-Garb & James A. Woodbridge - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (1):93-118.
    We argue that if Stephen Yablo (2005) is right that philosophers of mathematics ought to endorse a fictionalist view of number-talk, then there is a compelling reason for deflationists about truth to endorse a fictionalist view of truth-talk. More specifically, our claim will be that, for deflationists about truth, Yablo’s argument for mathematical fictionalism can be employed and mounted as an argument for truth-theoretic fictionalism.
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  19. Committing Ourselves to Nothing: An Anti-Orthodox View of Existential Quantifier Expressions.Stephen M. Nelson - 2013 - Dissertation, University of Minnesota
    There is a significant difference between the words `is' and `exists' that has either been overlooked or under-appreciated by many philosophers. This difference comes in sentences that express existential quantification using `is', `exists', or their cognates, such as, "There are cookies in the jar," or, "There exists a strange species of fish that nobody has studied yet." Phrases such as `there are' and `there exists' are existential quantifier expressions, since they're used to express existential quantification. The orthodox view of these (...)
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  20. 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 structure (...)
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  21. Are There Uncontroversial Error Theories?Terence Rajivan Edward - 2011 - Philosophical Pathways (162).
    This paper evaluates an argument for the conclusion that in order to produce a viable objection to a particular error theory, the objection must not be applicable to any error theory. The reason given for this conclusion is that error theories about some discourses are uncontroversial. But the examples given of uncontroversial error theories are not good ones, nor do there appear to be other examples available.
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  22. Colour Fictionalism.Dimitria Electra Gatzia - 2010 - Rivista di Estetica 43:109-123.
    In "How to Speak of the Colors", Mark Johnston’s claims that eliminativism would require us to jettison colour discourse. In this paper, I challenge Johnston’s claim. I argue that a particular version of eliminativism, i.e., prescriptive colour fictionalism, allows us to continue employing colour discourse as we have thus far in the absence of colours. In doing so, it employs statistical models in its base discourse to derive high-level statistical constructs that can be linked to the fiction via bridge principles.
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  23. Error Theory and Fictionalism.Nadeem Hussain - 2010 - In John Skorupski (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Ethics. Routledge.
    This paper surveys contemporary accounts of error theory and fictionalism. It introduces these categories to those new to metaethics by beginning with moral nihilism, the view that nothing really is right or wrong. One main motivation is that the scientific worldview seems to have no place for rightness or wrongness. Within contemporary metaethics there is a family of theories that makes similar claims. These are the theories that are usually classified as forms of error theory or fictionalism though there are (...)
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  24. On 'Average'.Christopher Kennedy & Jason Stanley - 2009 - Mind 118 (471):583 - 646.
    This article investigates the semantics of sentences that express numerical averages, focusing initially on cases such as 'The average American has 2.3 children'. Such sentences have been used both by linguists and philosophers to argue for a disjuncture between semantics and ontology. For example, Noam Chomsky and Norbert Hornstein have used them to provide evidence against the hypothesis that natural language semantics includes a reference relation holding between words and objects in the world, whereas metaphysicians such as Joseph Melia and (...)
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  25. Must Existence-Questions Have Answers?Stephen Yablo - 2009 - In David Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 507-525.
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  26. Telling Tales.Antony Eagle - 2007 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 107 (1pt2):125 - 147.
    Utterances within the context of telling fictional tales that appear to be assertions are nevertheless not to be taken at face value. The present paper attempts to explain exactly what such 'pseudo-assertions' are, and how they behave. Many pseudo-assertions can take on multiple roles, both within fictions and in what I call 'participatory criticism' of a fiction, especially when they occur discourse-initially. This fact, taken together with problems for replacement accounts of pseudo-assertion based on the implicit prefixing of an 'in (...)
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  27. Fiction-Making as a Gricean Illocutionary Type.Manuel Garcia-Carpintero - 2007 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 65 (2):203–216.
    There are propositions constituting the content of fictions—sometimes of the utmost importance to understand them—which are not explicitly presented, but must somehow be inferred. This essay deals with what these inferences tell us about the nature of fiction. I will criticize three well-known proposals in the literature: those by David Lewis, Gregory Currie, and Kendall Walton. I advocate a proposal of my own, which I will claim improves on theirs. Most important for my purposes, I will argue on this basis, (...)
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  28. The Fictionality of Plays.John Dilworth - 2002 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 60 (3):263–273.
    The category of works of fiction is a very broad and heterogeneous one. I do have a general thesis in mind about such works, namely, that they themselves are fictional, in much the same way as are the fictional events or entities that they are about. But a defense of such a broad thesis would provide an intractably complex topic for an introductory essay, so I shall here confine myself to a presentation of a similar thesis for narrative theatrical works (...)
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  29. Composition as a Fiction.Gideon Rosen & Cian Dorr - 2002 - In Richard Gale (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to Metaphysics. Blackwell. pp. 151--174.
    Region R Question: How many objects — entities, things — are contained in R? Ignore the empty space. Our question might better be put, 'How many material objects does R contain?' Let's stipulate that A, B and C are metaphysical atoms: absolutely simple entities with no parts whatsoever besides themselves. So you don't have to worry about counting a particle's top half and bottom half as different objects. Perhaps they are 'point-particles', with no length, width or breadth. Perhaps they are (...)
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  30. 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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  31. Ingarden versus Meinong o logice fikcji.Barry Smith - 1998 - In Z. Muszyński (ed.), Z badań nad prawdą i poznaniem. Lublin: Wydawnictwo UMC-S. pp. 283–296.
    : For Meinong, familiarly, fictional entities are not created, but rather merely discovered (or picked out) from the inexhaustible realm of Aussersein (beyond being and non-being). The phenomenologist Roman Ingarden, in contrast, offers in his Literary Work of Art of 1931 a constructive ontology of fiction, which views fictional objects as entities which are created by the acts of an author (as laws, for example, are created by acts of parliament). We outline the logic of fiction which is implied by (...)
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  32. Witasek.Barry Smith - 1998 - In Monika Betzler & Julian Nida-Rümelin (eds.), Ästhetik und Kunstphilosophie von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart in Einzeldarstellungen. Stuttgart: Alfred Kröner Verlag. pp. 821-824.
    Stephan Witasek was a student and follow of Meinong, who applied Meinong's ideas on the ontology of the non-existent to the working out of a theory of aesthetic phenomena in his Grundzüge der allgemeinen Ästhetik of 1904. Witasek shows how our feelings undergo certain sorts of structural modifications when they are directed towards what does not exist. He draws a distinction between genuine mental phenomena and what he calls ‘phantasy-material’, asserting that ‘the job of the aesthetic object, whether it is (...)
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  33. Ingarden Vs. Meinong on the Logic of Fiction.Barry Smith - 1980 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 41 (1/2):93-105.
    For Meinong, familiarly, fictional entities are not created, but rather merely discovered (or picked out) from the inexhaustible realm of Aussersein (beyond being and non-being). The phenomenologist Roman Ingarden, in contrast, offers in his Literary Work of Art of 1931 a constructive ontology of fiction, which views fictional objects as entities which are created by the acts of an author (as laws, for example, are created by acts of parliament). We outline the logic of fiction which is implied by Ingarden’s (...)
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  34. 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). Elisabeth (...)
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