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The Nature of Fiction

Cambridge University Press (1990)

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  1. Fiction and Importation.Andreas Stokke - 2022 - Linguistics and Philosophy 45 (1):65-89.
    Importation in fictional discourse is the phenomenon by which audiences include information in the story over and above what is explicitly stated by the narrator. This paper argues that importation is distinct from generation, the phenomenon by which truth in fiction may outstrip what is made explicit, and draws a distinction between fictional truth and fictional records. The latter comprises the audience’s picture of what is true according to the narrator. The paper argues that importation into fictional records operates according (...)
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  • Interpreting plural predication: homogeneity and non-maximality.Manuel Križ & Benjamin Spector - 2021 - Linguistics and Philosophy 44 (5):1131-1178.
    Plural definite descriptions across many languages display two well-known properties. First, they can give rise to so-called non-maximal readings, in the sense that they ‘allow for exceptions’. Second, while they tend to have a quasi-universal quantificational force in affirmative sentences, they tend to be interpreted existentially in the scope of negation. Building on previous works, we offer a theory in which sentences containing plural definite expressions trigger a family of possible interpretations, and where general principles of language use account for (...)
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  • What We Can Learn From Literary Authors.Alberto Voltolini - 2021 - Acta Analytica 36 (4):479-499.
    That we can learn something from literature, as cognitivists claim, seems to be a commonplace. However, when one considers matters more deeply, it turns out to be a problematic claim. In this paper, by focusing on general revelatory facts about the world and the human spirit, I hold that the cognitivist claim can be vindicated if one takes it as follows. We do not learn such facts from literature, if by “literature” one means the truth-conditional contents that one may ascribe (...)
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  • Las normas y su puesta en vigor: respuesta a Josep Corbí.Manuel Garcia-Carpintero - 2017 - Critica 49 (145):113-132.
    En su discusión “Obras de ficción, formas de conciencia y literatura”, Josep Corbí formula una serie de críticas certeras a mis ideas sobre la distinción que he hecho entre ficción y no ficción en Relatar lo ocurrido como invención. En esta nota de respuesta expongo primero de forma sucinta el núcleo de esas ideas y después proporciono las que considero las razones más decisivas para adoptarlas, a pesar de las dificultades que señala Corbí.
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  • Fact, Fiction, and Fantasy.Ben Blumson - 2015 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 39 (1):46-57.
    This paper argues: (1) All knowledge from fiction is from imagination (2) All knowledge from imagination is modal knowledge (3) So, all knowledge from fiction is modal knowledge Moreover, some knowledge is from fiction, so (1)-(3) are non-vacuously true.
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  • The Nature of Model-World Comparisons.Fiora Salis - 2016 - The Monist 99 (3):243-259.
    Upholders of fictionalism about scientific models have not yet successfully explained how scientists can learn about the real world by making comparisons between models and the real phenomena they stand for. In this paper I develop an account of model-world comparisons in terms of what I take to be the best antirealist analyses of comparative claims that emerge from the current debate on fiction.
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  • Contexts as Shared Commitments.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
    Contemporary semantics assumes two influential notions of context: one coming from Kaplan (1989), on which contexts are sets of predetermined parameters, and another originating in Stalnaker (1978), on which contexts are sets of propositions that are “common ground”. The latter is deservedly more popular, given its flexibility in accounting for context-dependent aspects of language beyond manifest indexicals, such as epistemic modals, predicates of taste, and so on and so forth; in fact, properly dealing with demonstratives (perhaps ultimately all indexicals) requires (...)
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  • Ignorance Implicatures and Non-Doxastic Attitude Verbs.Kyle H. Blumberg - 2017 - Proceedings of the 21st Amsterdam Colloquium.
    This paper is about conjunctions and disjunctions in the scope of non-doxastic atti- tude verbs. These constructions generate a certain type of ignorance implicature. I argue that the best way to account for these implicatures is by appealing to a notion of contex- tual redundancy (Schlenker, 2008; Fox, 2008; Mayr and Romoli, 2016). This pragmatic approach to ignorance implicatures is contrasted with a semantic account of disjunctions under `wonder' that appeals to exhausti cation (Roelofsen and Uegaki, 2016). I argue that (...)
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  • Thoughtful Brutes.Tomas Hribek - 2012 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 19:70-82.
    Donald Davidson and John Searle famously differ, among other things, on the issue of animal thoughts. Davidson seems to be a latter-day Cartesian, denying any propositional thought to subhuman animals, while Searle seems to follow Hume in claiming that if we have thoughts, then animals do, too. Davidson’s argument centers on the idea that language is necessary for thought, which Searle rejects. The paper argues two things. Firstly, Searle eventually argues that much of a more complex thought does depend on (...)
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  • Free Indirect Discourse in Non-Fiction.Andreas Stokke - 2021 - Frontiers in Communication 5 (606616).
    This paper considers some uses of Free Indirect Discourse within non-fictional discourse. It is shown that these differ from ordinary uses in that they do not attribute actual thoughts or utterances. I argue that the explanation for this is that these uses of Free Indirect Discourse are not assertoric. Instead, it is argued here that they are fictional uses, that is, they are used with fictional force like utterances used to tell a fictional story. Rather than making assertions about the (...)
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  • Evaluating Williamson’s Anti-Scepticism.Tony Cheng - 2008 - Sorites 21:06-11.
    Timothy Williamson’s Knowledge and its Limits has been highly influential since the beginning of this century. It can be read as a systematic response to scepticism. One of the most important notions in this response is the notion of «evidence,» which will be the focus of the present paper. I attempt to show primarily two things. First, the notion of evidence invoked by Williamson does not address the sceptical worry: he stipulates an objective notion of evidence, but this begs the (...)
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  • Truths Containing Empty Names.Michael McKinsey - 2016 - In Piotr Stalmaszczyk & Luis Fernandez Moreno (eds.), Philosophical Approaches to Proper Names. Peter Lang. pp. 175-202.
    Abstract. On the Direct Reference thesis, proper names are what I call ‘genuine terms’, terms whose sole semantic contributions to the propositions expressed by their use are the terms’ semantic referents. But unless qualified, this thesis implies the false consequence that sentences containing names that fail to refer can never express true or false propositions. (Consider ‘The ancient Greeks worshipped Zeus’, for instance.) I suggest that while names are typically and fundamentally used as genuine terms, there is a small class (...)
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  • ‘Suspension of Disbelief’: A Coherentist Theory of Fiction.Giovanni Tuzet - forthcoming - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique:1-24.
    Why do we say that a certain fiction is good, or even credible? The paper discusses the issue of fiction acceptability or credibility, with reference to the literary and legal domains in particular. Coleridge claimed that ‘poetic faith’ involves a suspension of disbelief. If he was right, to be good a literary fiction must be credible. Literary credibility does not mean truth or truthfulness. The paper contends that it means, in some senses to be specified, coherence; hence it provides a (...)
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  • Educating the Design Stance: Issues of Coherence and Transgression. Commentary on Bullot & Reber.Norman H. Freeman & Melissa L. Allen - forthcoming - Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
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  • A Family Meal as Fiction.Josep E. Corbi - 2020 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 27:82-105.
    at seek to identify the necessary and sufficient conditions for a work to count as fiction. She argues that this goal cannot really be achieved; instead, she appeals to the notion of genre to distinguish between fiction and nonfiction. This notion is significantly more flex- ible, since it invites us to identify standard—but not necessary—and counter-standard features of works of fiction in light of our classificatory practices. More specifically, Friend argues that the genre of fiction has the genre of nonfiction—and (...)
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  • Thought Experiments Without Possible Worlds.Daniel Dohrn - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (2):363-384.
    The method of thought experiments or possible cases is widespread in philosophy and elsewhere. Thought experiments come with variegated theoretical commitments. These commitments are risky. They may turn out to be false or at least controversial. Other things being equal, it seems preferable to do with minimal commitments. I explore exemplary ways of minimising commitments, focusing on modal ones. There is a near-consensus to treat the scenarios considered in thought experiments as metaphysical possibilities. I challenge this consensus. Paradigmatic thought experiments (...)
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  • Fiction Cannot Be True.László Kajtár - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (9):2167-2186.
    According to the dominant theory of intentionalism, fiction and non-fiction are in a “mix-and-match” relationship with truth and falsity: both fiction and nonfiction can be either true or false. Intentionalists hold that fiction is a property of a narrative that is intended to elicit not belief but imagination or make-belief in virtue of the audience’s recognizing that such is the intention of the fiction-maker. They claim that in unlikely circumstances these fictions can turn out to be accidentally true. On the (...)
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  • Files for Fiction.Eleonora Orlando - 2017 - Acta Analytica 32 (1):55-71.
    In this essay, I appeal to the mental file approach in order to give an anti-realist semantic analysis of statements containing fictional names. I claim that fictive and parafictive uses of them express conceptual, though not general, propositions constituted by mental files, anchored in the conceptual world of the corresponding fictional story. Moreover, by positing a referential shift determined by the presence of a simulative referential intention characteristic of those uses, it is possible to take them to be true with (...)
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  • LOGOS Group-Universitat de Barcelona LanCog Group–Universidade de Lisboa 1st LanCog-LOGOS Workshop.Eduardo Castro - unknown
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  • Imagination and Immortality: Thinking of Me.Shaun Nichols - 2007 - Synthese 159 (2):215 - 233.
    Recent work in developmental psychology indicates that children naturally think that psychological states continue after death. One important candidate explanation for why this belief is natural appeals to the idea that we believe in immortality because we can't imagine our own nonexistence. This paper explores this old idea. To begin, I present a qualified statement of the thesis that we can't imagine our own nonexistence. I argue that the most prominent explanation for this obstacle, Freud's, is problematic. I go on (...)
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  • Expression in the Representational Arts.Catharine Abell - 2013 - American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (1):23-36.
    Understanding a work of representational art involves more than simply grasping what it represents. We can distinguish at least three types of content that representational works may possess. First, all representational works have explicit representational content. This includes the literal content of a linguistic work and the depictive content of a pictorial work. Second, they often have a conveyed content, which outstrips their explicit representational content, including much that is merely implicit in the work, and may exclude certain aspects of (...)
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  • The Aesthetics of Actor-Character Race Matching in Film Fictions.Christy Mag Uidhir - 2012 - Philosophers' Imprint 12.
    Marguerite Clark as Topsy in Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1918). Charlton Heston as Ramon Miguel Vargas in Touch of Evil (1958). Mizuo Peck as Sacagawea in Night at the Museum (2006). From the early days of cinema to its classic-era through to the contemporary Hollywood age, the history of cinema is replete with films in which the racial (or ethnic) background of a principal character does not match the background of the actor or actress portraying that character. I call this actor-character (...)
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  • Models and Representation.Roman Frigg & James Nguyen - 2017 - In Lorenzo Magnani & Tommaso Bertolotti (eds.), Springer Handbook of Model-Based Science. pp. 49-102.
    Scientific discourse is rife with passages that appear to be ordinary descriptions of systems of interest in a particular discipline. Equally, the pages of textbooks and journals are filled with discussions of the properties and the behavior of those systems. Students of mechanics investigate at length the dynamical properties of a system consisting of two or three spinning spheres with homogenous mass distributions gravitationally interacting only with each other. Population biologists study the evolution of one species procreating at a constant (...)
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  • Does the Paradox of Fiction Exist?Katherine Tullmann & Wesley Buckwalter - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (4):779-796.
    Many philosophers have attempted to provide a solution to the paradox of fiction, a triad of sentences that lead to the conclusion that genuine emotional responses to fiction are irrational. We suggest that disagreement over the best response to this paradox stems directly from the formulation of the paradox itself. Our main goal is to show that there is an ambiguity regarding the word ‘exist’ throughout the premises of the paradox. To reveal this ambiguity, we display the diverse existential commitments (...)
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  • Much Ado About Nothing: Critical Realism Examined.Richard Hanley - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 115 (2):123 - 147.
    Critical realism is the view that fictional characters arecontingent, actual, abstract individuals, ontologically on a par with such things as plots and rhyme schemes, andquantified over in statements such as “A character inHamlet is a prince.” A strong contender for thecorrect account of fictional characters, critical realismnevertheless has difficulty satisfying all that we intuitivelyrequire of such an account.
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  • A plea for an epistemology of evidence: randomifed clinical trials and post-truth.Juan Bautista Bengoetxea - 2021 - Veritas – Revista de Filosofia da Pucrs 48:79-101.
    Resumen En este artículo propongo un análisis crítico de varias tendencias filosóficas contrarias al uso de la noción de verdad en el ámbito epistemológico, especialmente la de Rorty. En particular, sostengo que la verdad es un concepto clave para el estudio del conocimiento, especialmente el científico, en cuanto toma una forma concisa en los procedimientos experimentales de carácter probatorio-empírico. Gracias a este enfoque, busco socavar varias tesis de los enfoques de la ‘posverdad’ por medio del uso de un conjunto de (...)
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  • Explaining Imagination.Peter Langland-Hassan - 2020 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    ​Imagination will remain a mystery—we will not be able to explain imagination—until we can break it into parts we already understand. Explaining Imagination is a guidebook for doing just that, where the parts are other ordinary mental states like beliefs, desires, judgments, and decisions. In different combinations and contexts, these states constitute cases of imagining. This reductive approach to imagination is at direct odds with the current orthodoxy, according to which imagination is a sui generis mental state or process—one with (...)
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  • Opacity and the Attitudes.Francois Recanati - 2000 - In A. Orenstein & Petr Kotatko (eds.), Knowledge, Language and Logic: Questions for Quine. Kluwer Academic Print on Demand. pp. 367--406.
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  • Rationalism and the Content of Intuitive Judgements.Anna-Sara Malmgren - 2011 - Mind 120 (478):263-327.
    It is commonly held that our intuitive judgements about imaginary problem cases are justified a priori, if and when they are justified at all. In this paper I defend this view — ‘rationalism’ — against a recent objection by Timothy Williamson. I argue that his objection fails on multiple grounds, but the reasons why it fails are instructive. Williamson argues from a claim about the semantics of intuitive judgements, to a claim about their psychological underpinnings, to the denial of rationalism. (...)
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  • Video Games as Self-Involving Interactive Fictions.Jon Robson & Aaron Meskin - 2016 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 74 (2):165-177.
    This article explores the nature and theoretical import of a hitherto neglected class of fictions which we term ‘self-involving interactive fictions’. SIIFs are interactive fictions, but they differ from standard examples of interactive fictions by being, in some important sense, about those who consume them. In order to better understand the nature of SIIFs, and the ways in which they differ from other fictions, we focus primarily on the most prominent example of the category: video-game fictions. We argue that appreciating (...)
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  • Heidegger's Logico-Semantic Strikeback.Alberto Voltolini - 2015 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 22:19-38.
    In (1959), Carnap famously attacked Heidegger for having constructed an insane metaphysics based on a misconception of both the logical form and the semantics of ordinary language. In what follows, it will be argued that, once one appropriately (i.e., in a Russellian fashion) reads Heidegger’s famous sentence that should paradigmatically exemplify such a misconception, i.e., “the nothing nothings”, there is nothing either logically or semantically wrong with it. The real controversy as to how that sentence has to be evaluated—not as (...)
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  • Pretense and Display Theories of Theatrical Performance.James R. Hamilton - 2009 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu (4):632-654.
    A survey of and a comparison of the relative strengths of two favored views of what theatrical performers do: pretend or engage in a variety of self-display. The behavioral version of the pretense theory is shown to be relatively weak as an instrument for understanding the variety of performance styles available in world theater. Whether pretense works as a theory of the mental capacities that underly theatrical performance is a separate question.
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  • Imagination and Epistemology.Jonathan Ichikawa - 2008 - Dissertation, Rutgers University
    Among the tools the epistemologist brings to the table ought to be, I suggest, a firm understanding of the imagination--one that is informed by philosophy of mind, cognitive psychology, and neuroscience. In my dissertation, I highlight several ways in which such an understanding of the imagination can yield insight into traditional questions in epistemology. My dissertation falls into three parts. In Part I, I argue that dreaming should be understood in imaginative terms, and that this has important implications for questions (...)
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  • Futher Reflections on Semantic Minimalism: Reply to Wedgwood.Alessandro Capone - 2013 - In Perspectives on Pragmatics and Philosophy. Springer. pp. 437-474..
    semantic minimalism and moderte contextualism.
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  • Scientific Fictions as Rules of Inference.Mauricio Suárez - 2009 - In Fictions in Science: Philosophical Essays on Modeling and Idealization. Routledge. pp. 158--178.
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  • Cross-Fictional Quantification in the Artifactual Theory of Fiction.Matthieu Fontaine - 2020 - Critica 52 (154).
    It is acknowledged by proponents of the Artifactual Theory of Fiction that literary works sometimes involve real or immigrant characters. However, their conception of cross-fictional identity faces serious difficulties. In this paper, we set the problem in the context of a modal framework, in relation to quantification across a plurality of possible worlds. Quantification is explained in terms of Hintikka’s notion of world lines; i.e. the possible values of bound variables are individuals that are not reduced to their manifestations. We (...)
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  • Morality, Fiction, and Possibility.Brian Weatherson - 2004 - Philosophers' Imprint 4:1-27.
    Authors have a lot of leeway with regard to what they can make true in their story. In general, if the author says that p is true in the fiction we’re reading, we believe that p is true in that fiction. And if we’re playing along with the fictional game, we imagine that, along with everything else in the story, p is true. But there are exceptions to these general principles. Many authors, most notably Kendall Walton and Tamar Szabó Gendler, (...)
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  • Fictional Sentences and the Pragmatic Defence of Direct Reference Theories.Tomasz Puczyłowski - 2019 - Studia Semiotyczne 33 (2):259-276.
    According to Adams and his colleagues, fictional sentences, i.e. sentences featuring fictional names, lack any truth value. To explain intuitions to the contrary, they refer to the pragmatics of fictional assertions and claim that sincere utterances of those sentences generate some conversational implicatures. They argue that all who take fictional sentences to have a truth value tend to mistake implicatures of assertions of such sentences with their literal content. The aim of the paper is to show that this argument is (...)
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  • Relational Belief Reports.François Recanati - 2000 - Philosophical Studies 100 (3):255-272.
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  • Fiction and Scientific Representation.Roman Frigg - 2010 - In .
    Understanding scientific modelling can be divided into two sub-projects: analysing what model-systems are, and understanding how they are used to represent something beyond themselves. The first is a prerequisite for the second: we can only start analysing how representation works once we understand the intrinsic character of the vehicle that does the representing. Coming to terms with this issue is the project of the first half of this chapter. My central contention is that models are akin to places and characters (...)
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  • Models and Fiction.Roman Frigg - 2010 - Synthese 172 (2):251-268.
    Most scientific models are not physical objects, and this raises important questions. What sort of entity are models, what is truth in a model, and how do we learn about models? In this paper I argue that models share important aspects in common with literary fiction, and that therefore theories of fiction can be brought to bear on these questions. In particular, I argue that the pretence theory as developed by Walton has the resources to answer these questions. I introduce (...)
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  • Metaphysical Perspectives on YHWH as a Fictional Entity in the Hebrew Bible.Jacobus W. Gericke - 2017 - HTS Theological Studies 73 (3):1-6.
    Within a literary ontology, YHWH in the Hebrew Bible is technically also a fictional entity or object. In Hebrew Bible scholarship, a variety of philosophical issues surrounding fiction have received sustained and in-depth attention. However, the mainstream research on these matters tends to focus on the philosophical foundations of or backgrounds to a particular literary theory, rather than on metaphysical puzzles as encountered in the philosophy of fiction proper. To fill this gap, the present article seeks to provide a meta-theoretical (...)
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  • In che cosa consiste far finta.Alberto Voltolini - 2009 - Aisthesis: Pratiche, Linguaggi E Saperi Dell’Estetico 2 (2).
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  • Thought-Experiment Intuitions and Truth in Fiction.Jonathan Ichikawa & Benjamin Jarvis - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 142 (2):221 - 246.
    What sorts of things are the intuitions generated via thought experiment? Timothy Williamson has responded to naturalistic skeptics by arguing that thought-experiment intuitions are judgments of ordinary counterfactuals. On this view, the intuition is naturalistically innocuous, but it has a contingent content and could be known at best a posteriori. We suggest an alternative to Williamson's account, according to which we apprehend thought-experiment intuitions through our grasp on truth in fiction. On our view, intuitions like the Gettier intuition are necessarily (...)
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  • Talk About Fiction.Francois Recanati - 1998 - Lingua E Stile 33 (3):547-558.
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  • Kitcher, Ideal Agents, and Fictionalism.Sarah Hoffman - 2004 - Philosophia Mathematica 12 (1):3-17.
    Kitcher urges us to think of mathematics as an idealized science of human operations, rather than a theory describing abstract mathematical objects. I argue that Kitcher's invocation of idealization cannot save mathematical truth and avoid platonism. Nevertheless, what is left of Kitcher's view is worth holding onto. I propose that Kitcher's account should be fictionalized, making use of Walton's and Currie's make-believe theory of fiction, and argue that the resulting ideal-agent fictionalism has advantages over mathematical-object fictionalism.
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  • Making the Lightness of Being Bearable: Arithmetical Platonism, Fictional Realism and Cognitive Command.Bill Wringe - 2008 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 38 (3):453-487.
    In this paper I argue against Divers and Miller's 'Lightness of Being' objection to Hale and Wright's neo-Fregean Platonism. According to the 'Lightness of Being' objection, the neo-Fregean Platonist makes existence too cheap: the same principles which allow her to argue that numbers exist also allow her to claim that fictional objects exist. I claim that this is no objection at all" the neo-Fregean Platonist should think that fictional characters exist. However, the pluralist approach to truth developed by WQright in (...)
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  • Description, Disagreement, and Fictional Names.Peter Alward - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (3):423-448.
    In this paper, a theory of the contents of fictional names — names of fictional people, places, etc. — will be developed.1 The fundamental datum that must be addressed by such a theory is that fictional names are, in an important sense, empty: the entities to which they putatively refer do not exist.2 Nevertheless, they make substantial contributions to the truth conditions of sentences in which they occur. Not only do such sentences have truth conditions, sentences differing only in the (...)
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  • Pretense Theory and the Imported Background.Jeffrey Goodman - 2011 - Open Journal of Philosophy 1 (1):22.
    Kendall Walton’s pretense theory, like its rivals, says that what’s true in a fiction F depends in part on the importation of background propositions into F. The aim of this paper is to present, explain, and defend a brief yet straightforward argument–one which exploits the specific mechanism by which the pretense theory says propositions are imported into fictions–for the falsity of the pretense theory.
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  • Imaginative Contagion.Tamar Szabo Gendler - 2006 - Metaphilosophy 37 (2):183-203.
    The aim of this article is to expand the diet of examples considered in philosophical discussions of imagination and pretense, and to offer some preliminary observations about what we might learn about the nature of imagination as a result. The article presents a number of cases involving imaginative contagion: cases where merely imagining or pretending that P has effects that we would expect only perceiving or believing that P to have. Examples are offered that involve visual imagery, motor imagery, fictional (...)
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