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  1. What is a Second Order Theory Committed To?Charles Sayward - 1983 - Erkenntnis 20 (1):79 - 91.
    The paper argues that no second order theory is ontologically commited to anything beyond what its individual variables range over.
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  • Philosophy of Religion, Fictionalism, and Religious Diversity.Victoria S. Harrison - 2010 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 68 (1-3):43-58.
    Until recently philosophy of religion has been almost exclusively focused upon the analysis of western religious ideas. The central concern of the discipline has been the concept God , as that concept has been understood within Judaeo-Christianity. However, this narrow remit threatens to render philosophy of religion irrelevant today. To avoid this philosophy of religion should become a genuinely multicultural discipline. But how, if at all, can philosophy of religion rise to this challenge? The paper considers fictionalism about religious discourse (...)
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  • Unrestricted Composition and Restricted Quantification.Daniel Z. Korman - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 140 (3):319-334.
    Many of those who accept the universalist thesis that mereological composition is unrestricted also maintain that the folk typically restrict their quantifiers in such a way as to exclude strange fusions when they say things that appear to conflict with universalism. Despite its prima facie implausibility, there are powerful arguments for universalism. By contrast, there is remarkably little evidence for the thesis that strange fusions are excluded from the ordinary domain of quantification. Furthermore, this reconciliatory strategy seems hopeless when applied (...)
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  • In Defence of Error Theory.Chris Daly & David Liggins - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 149 (2):209-230.
    Many contemporary philosophers rate error theories poorly. We identify the arguments these philosophers invoke, and expose their deficiencies. We thereby show that the prospects for error theory have been systematically underestimated. By undermining general arguments against all error theories, we leave it open whether any more particular arguments against particular error theories are more successful. The merits of error theories need to be settled on a case-by-case basis: there is no good general argument against error theories.
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  • Metaethics and Nihilism in Reginster's The Affirmation of Life.Nadeem J. Z. Hussain - 2012 - Journal of Nietzsche Studies 43 (1):99-117.
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  • Figurative Language in Explanation.Inga Nayding - 2013 - Disputatio 5 (35):2013.
    Yablo argued that some metaphors are representationally essential: they enable us to express contents that we would not be able to express without them. He defended a fictionalist view of mathematical language by making the case that it similarly serves as a representational aid. Against this, Colyvan argued that metaphorical/figurative language can never play an essential role in explanation and that mathematical language often does, hence concluding that Yablo’s fictionalism is untenable. I show that Colyvan’s thesis about explanation is highly (...)
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  • 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 "Fictionalism about Fictional Characters", I defended this kind of view. Over the last fourteen years, a number of criticisms have been leveled against this variety of fictionalism. This paper reconsiders the initial (...)
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  • Expressive Fictionalism.Simon Lowe - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Birmingham
    In this thesis I will present a theoretical, non-realist account of moral language which I call ‘Expressive Fictionalism’. Expressive Fictionalism is a combined approach involving semantic content based on Joycean revisionary fictionalism and pragmatic expressivism with influences of projectivism and the quasi-realism of Simon Blackburn. The result is a marriage between the two which ultimately works towards mutual advantage. The aim of this thesis is to provide a non-realist account of moral language in the form of expressive fictionalism, which, I (...)
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  • Fictionalism.Fiora Salis - 2015 - Online Companion to Problems in Analytic Philosophy.
    In this entry I will offer a survey of the contemporary debate on fic- tionalism, which is a distinctive anti-realist view about certain regions of discourse that are valued for their usefulness rather than their truth.
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  • Reference Fiction, and Omission.Samuel Murray - 2018 - Synthese 195 (1):235-257.
    In this paper, I argue that sentences that contain ‘omission’ tokens that appear to function as singular terms are meaningful while maintaining the view that omissions are nothing at all or mere absences. I take omissions to be fictional entities and claim that the way in which sentences about fictional characters are true parallels the way in which sentences about omissions are true. I develop a pragmatic account of fictional reference and argue that my fictionalist account of omissions implies a (...)
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  • 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, talk of mental (...)
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  • The Philosophy of Generative Linguistics.Peter Ludlow - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
    Peter Ludlow presents the first book on the philosophy of generative linguistics, including both Chomsky's government and binding theory and his minimalist ...
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  • The Inaccuracy of Partial Truth in Yablovian If-Thenism.Joseph Ulatowski - 2017 - Australasian Philosophical Review 1 (2):206-211.
    Yablo has argued for an alternative form of if-thenism that is more conducive with his figurative fictionalism. This commentary sets out to challenge whether the remainder, ρ, tends to be an inaccurate representation of the conditions that are supposed to complete the enthymeme from φ to Ψ. Whilst by some accounts the inaccuracies shouldn't set off any alarm bells, the truth of ρ is too inexact. The content of ρ, a partial truth, must display a sensitivity to the contextual background (...)
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  • The Menard Case and the Identity of a Literary Work of Art.Tomas Hribek - 2013 - In Tomas Koblizek, Petr Kot'átko & Martin Pokorný (eds.), Text + Work: The Menard Case. Praha, Česko: pp. 6-34.
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  • The Inscrutability of Reference.Robert Williams - 2005 - Dissertation, University of St Andrews
    The metaphysics of representation poses questions such as: in virtue of what does a sentence, picture, or mental state represent that the world is a certain way? In the first instance, I have focused on the semantic properties of language: for example, what is it for a name such as ‘London’ to refer to something? Interpretationism concerning what it is for linguistic expressions to have meaning, says that constitutively, semantic facts are fixed by best semantic theory. As here developed, it (...)
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  • On the Systematic Inadequacy of Fictionalism About Fictional Characters.Marián Zouhar - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (3):925-942.
    Critical statements, if true, bear ontological commitments to fictional entities. A well-known version of fictionalism about fictional characters tries to eliminate these ontological commitments by proposing that we understand critical statements as prefixed by a special sentential operator, such as ‘according to a fictional realist theory’. The aim of the present paper is to show that fictionalism about fictional characters is underdeveloped as it stands because it can be shown to be systematically inadequate. Because the fictionalist’s paraphrases of critical statements (...)
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  • Pretense, Mathematics, and Cognitive Neuroscience.Jonathan Tallant - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (4):axs013.
    A pretense theory of a given discourse is a theory that claims that we do not believe or assert the propositions expressed by the sentences we token (speak, write, and so on) when taking part in that discourse. Instead, according to pretense theory, we are speaking from within a pretense. According to pretense theories of mathematics, we engage with mathematics as we do a pretense. We do not use mathematical language to make claims that express propositions and, thus, we do (...)
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  • Singular Terms, Reference and Methodology in Semantics.Jeffrey C. King - 2006 - Philosophical Issues 16 (1):141–161.
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  • Abstract Expressionism and the Communication Problem.David Liggins - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (3):599-620.
    Some philosophers have recently suggested that the reason mathematics is useful in science is that it expands our expressive capacities. Of these philosophers, only Stephen Yablo has put forward a detailed account of how mathematics brings this advantage. In this article, I set out Yablo’s view and argue that it is implausible. Then, I introduce a simpler account and show it is a serious rival to Yablo’s. 1 Introduction2 Yablo’s Expressionism3 Psychological Objections to Yablo’s Expressionism4 Introducing Belief Expressionism5 Objections and (...)
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  • Towards a Fictionalist Philosophy of Mathematics.Robert Knowles - unknown
    In this thesis, I aim to motivate a particular philosophy of mathematics characterised by the following three claims. First, mathematical sentences are generally speaking false because mathematical objects do not exist. Second, people typically use mathematical sentences to communicate content that does not imply the existence of mathematical objects. Finally, in using mathematical language in this way, speakers are not doing anything out of the ordinary: they are performing straightforward assertions. In Part I, I argue that the role played by (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • The Return of Moral Fictionalism.Nadeem J. Z. Hussain - 2004 - Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):149–188.
    Fictionalism has recently returned as a standard response to ontologically problematic domains. This article assesses moral fictionalism. It argues (i) that a correct understanding of the dialectical situation in contemporary metaethics shows that fictionalism is only an interesting new alternative if it can provide a new account of normative content: what is it that I am thinking or saying when I think or say that I ought to do something; and (ii) that fictionalism, qua fictionalism, does not provide us with (...)
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  • Selfish Reasons.Kieran Setiya - 2015 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 2.
    Argues against the rationality of self-concern. Non-instrumental interest in my own well-being is not justified by the fact that it is mine. This follows from the metaphysics of first-person thought, as thought about the object of immediate knowledge. The argument leaves room for rational self-interest as a form of self-love that is justified, like love for others, by the fact of our shared humanity.
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  • Constructive Methodological Deflationism, Dialetheism and the Liar.David Liggins - 2014 - Analysis 74 (4):566-574.
    Thanks to the work of Kendall Walton, appeals to the notion of pretence (or make-believe) have become popular in philosophy. Now the notion has begun to appear in accounts of truth. My aim here is to assess one of these accounts, namely the ‘constructive methodological deflationism’ put forward by Jc Beall. After introducing the view, I argue that Beall does not manage to overcome the problem of psychological implausibility. Although Beall claims that constructive methodological deflationism supports dialetheism, I argue that (...)
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  • Mathematics and Bleak House.John P. Burgess - 2004 - Philosophia Mathematica 12 (1):18-36.
    The form of nominalism known as 'mathematical fictionalism' is examined and found wanting, mainly on grounds that go back to an early antinominalist work of Rudolf Carnap that has unfortunately not been paid sufficient attention by more recent writers.
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  • Hegel and Religion: Avoiding Double Truth, Twice.David Kolb - 2012 - Hegel Bulletin 33 (1):71-87.
    When I was first studying Hegel I encountered quite divergent readings of his views on religion. The teacher who first presented Hegel to me was a Jesuit, Quentin Lauer at Fordham University, who read Hegel as a Christian theologian providing a better metaphysical system for understanding the doctrines of the Trinity and Incarnation. When I studied at Yale, Kenley Dove read Hegel as the first thoroughly atheistic philosopher, who presented the conditions of thought without reference to any foundational absolute being. (...)
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  • Fiction, Creation and Fictionality : An Overview.Matthieu Fontaine & Shahid Rahman - 2010 - Methodos 10.
    La réflexion philosophique sur la non-existence est une thématique qui a été abordée au commencement même de la philosophie et qui suscite, depuis la publication en 1905 de « On Denoting » par Russell, les plus vifs débats en philosophie analytique. Cependant, le débat féroce sur la sémantique des noms propres et des descriptions définies qui surgirent suite à la publication du « On Referring » par Strawson en 1950 n’engagea pas d’étude systématique de la sémantique des fictions. En fait, (...)
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  • 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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  • The Semantics and Ontology of The Average American.Collins John - 2017 - Journal of Semantics 34 (3):373-405.
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  • A Defence of Semantic Pretence Hermeneutic Fictionalism Against the Autism Objection.Seahwa Kim - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (2):321-333.
    I defend pretence hermeneutic fictionalism against the Autism Objection. The objection is this: since people with autism have no difficulty in engaging with mathematics even if they cannot pretend, it is not the case that engagement with mathematics involves pretence. I show that a previous response to the objection is inadequate as a defence of the kind of pretence hermeneutic fictionalism put forward as a semantic thesis about the discourse in question. I claim that a more general response to the (...)
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  • 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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  • Paraphrase, Semantics, and Ontology.John A. Keller - 2015 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 9.
    Paraphrase is ubiquitous in philosophy, especially in discussions about ontological commitment. But should it be? Paraphrases are seldom accompanied by evidence that would convince, say, a linguist that the paraphrase and the paraphrased sentence have the same meaning. Indeed, from the perspective of linguistics, many paraphrases would seem to be nothing but bad jokes. For this reason, many philosophers have become deeply suspicious about paraphrase. I ague in this paper that this worry is misguided--that successful paraphrases do not need to (...)
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  • Structuring Reality.Naomi Margaret Claire Thompson - unknown
    This thesis explores attempts to characterise the structure of reality. Three notions stand out: Lewisian naturalness, Sider’s ‘structure’, and grounding, where the latter has become the most popular way to characterise the structure of reality in the contemporary literature. I argue that none of these notions, as they are currently understood, are suited for limning the metaphysical structure of reality. In the first part of the thesis I argue that, by the lights of the relevant theories, both naturalness and structure (...)
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  • The Average American has 2.3 Children.Jeff Pelletier - unknown
    Average-NPs, such as the one in the title of this paper, have been claimed to be ‘linguistically identical’ to any other definite-NPs but at the same time to be ‘semantically inconsistent’ with these other definite-NPs. To some this is an ironclad proof of the irrelevance of semantics to linguistics. We argue that both of the initial claims are wrong: average-NPs are not ‘linguistically identical’ to other definite-NPs but instead show a number of interesting divergences, and we provide a plausible semantic (...)
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  • The Average American has 2.3 Children.Greg Carlson & Francis Jeffry Pelletier - 2002 - Journal of Semantics 19 (1):73-104.
    Average‐NPs, such as the one in the title of this paper, have been claimed to be ‘linguistically identical’ to any other definite‐NPs but at the same time to be ‘semantically inconsistent’ with these other definite‐NPs. To some this is an ironclad proof of the irrelevance of semantics to linguistics. We argue that both of the initial claims are wrong: average‐NPs are not ‘linguistically identical’ to other definite‐NPs but instead show a number of interesting divergences, and we provide a plausible semantic (...)
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  • Quantifying Over the Reals.Philip Hugly & Charles Sayward - 1994 - Synthese 101 (1):53 - 64.
    Peter Geach proposed a substitutional construal of quantification over thirty years ago. It is not standardly substitutional since it is not tied to those substitution instances currently available to us; rather, it is pegged to possible substitution instances. We argue that (i) quantification over the real numbers can be construed substitutionally following Geach's idea; (ii) a price to be paid, if it is that, is intuitionism; (iii) quantification, thus conceived, does not in itself relieve us of ontological commitment to real (...)
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  • Objects and Objectivity : Alternatives to Mathematical Realism.Ebba Gullberg - 2011 - Dissertation, Umeå Universitet
    This dissertation is centered around a set of apparently conflicting intuitions that we may have about mathematics. On the one hand, we are inclined to believe that the theorems of mathematics are true. Since many of these theorems are existence assertions, it seems that if we accept them as true, we also commit ourselves to the existence of mathematical objects. On the other hand, mathematical objects are usually thought of as abstract objects that are non-spatiotemporal and causally inert. This makes (...)
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  • The Story About Propositions.Bradley Armour-Garb & James A. Woodbridge - 2012 - Noûs 46 (4):635-674.
    It is our contention that an ontological commitment to propositions faces a number of problems; so many, in fact, that an attitude of realism towards propositions—understood the usual “platonistic” way, as a kind of mind- and language-independent abstract entity—is ultimately untenable. The particular worries about propositions that marshal parallel problems that Paul Benacerraf has raised for mathematical platonists. At the same time, the utility of “proposition-talk”—indeed, the apparent linguistic commitment evident in our use of 'that'-clauses (in offering explanations and making (...)
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  • The Sky Over Canberra: Folk Discourse and Serious Metaphysics.Andrew Kenneth Jorgensen - 2010 - Philosophia 38 (2):365-383.
    I take up the task of examining how someone who takes seriously the ambitious programme of conceptual analysis advocated by the Canberra School can minimise the eliminative consequences which I argue the Ramsey-Carnap-Lewis recipe of conceptual analysis is likely to have for many folk discourses. The objective is to find a stable means to preserve the constative appearance of folk discourse and to find it generally successful in its attempts to describe an external world, albeit in non-scientific terms that do (...)
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  • Projection and Pretence in Ethics.Edmund Dain - 2012 - Philosophical Papers 41 (2):181 - 208.
    Abstract Suppose one is persuaded of the merits of noncognitivism in ethics but not those of expressivism: in such a case, a form of moral fictionalism, combining a descriptivist account of moral sentences with a noncognitivist account of the attitudes involved in their acceptance or rejection, might seem an attractive alternative. This paper argues against the use of moral fictionalism as a strategy for defending noncognitivism in ethics. It argues, first, that the view is implausible as it stands and, second, (...)
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  • Pragmatic Antirealism: A New Antirealist Strategy.Michael Scott & Philip Brown - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 161 (3):349-366.
    In everyday speech we seem to refer to such things as abstract objects, moral properties, or propositional attitudes that have been the target of metaphysical and/or epistemological objections. Many philosophers, while endorsing scepticism about some of these entities, have not wished to charge ordinary speakers with fundamental error, or recommend that the discourse be revised or eliminated. To this end a number of non-revisionary antirealist strategies have been employed, including expressivism, reductionism and hermeneutic fictionalism. But each of these theories faces (...)
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  • Truth Vs. Pretense in Discourse About Motion (or, Why the Sun Really Does Rise).Brendan Jackson - 2007 - Noûs 41 (2):298–317.
    These days it is widely agreed that there is no such thing as absolute motion and rest; the motion of an object can only be characterized with respect to some chosen frame of reference.1 This is a fact of which many of us are well-aware, and yet a cursory consideration of the ways we ascribe motion to objects gives the impression that it is a fact we persistently ignore. We insist to the police officer that we came to a full (...)
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  • 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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  • Fictional Coreference as a Problem for the Pretense Theory.Anna Bjurman Pautz - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 141 (2):147 - 156.
    There seems to be a perfectly ordinary sense in which different speakers can use an empty name to talk about the same thing. Call this fictional coreference. It is a constraint on an adequate theory of empty names that it provide a satisfactory account of fictional coreference. The main claim of this paper is that the pretense theory of empty names does not respect this constraint.
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  • I’M Here Now, But I Won’T Be Here When You Get This Message.Niall Connolly - 2017 - Dialectica 71 (4):603-622.
    Answering machine messages allegedly refute Kaplan's ‘classical account’ of the semantics of ‘I’, ‘here’ and ‘now’. The classical account doesn’t allow that a token of ‘I am not here now’ can be true; but these words in an answering machine message can communicate something true. In this paper I argue that the true content communicated by an answering machine message is extra-semantic content conveyed via the mechanism of ‘externally-oriented make-believe’. An answering machine message is associated with a game of make-believe (...)
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  • Alethic Fictionalism, Alethic Nihilism, and the Liar Paradox.Bradley Armour-Garb & James A. Woodbridge - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (12):3083-3096.
    Recently, several philosophers have proposed fictionalist accounts of truth-talk, as a means for resolving the semantic pathology that the Liar Paradox appears to present. These alethic fictionalists aim to vindicate truth-talk as a kind of as if discourse, while rejecting that the talk attributes any real property of truth. Liggins has recently critically assessed one such proposal, Beall’s constructive methodological deflationist, offering objections to Beall’s proposed alethic fictionalism that potentially generalize to other alethic fictionalist accounts. Liggins further argues that CMD (...)
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  • The What and the How of Metaphorical Imagining, Part One.David Hills - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (1):13--31.
    We humans are remarkably interested in and skilled at games of make believe, games whose rules make what we are called on to imagine depend on what’s actually perceivably true about things and people that have what it takes to assume various fictional roles and that thereby function in the games as props. For the most part we play these games on an improvised pickup basis, working out the rules we play by in the very act of playing by them. (...)
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  • How to Criticize Lexical Accounts of Idioms.Madeleine Arseneault - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (2):141-158.
    The semantics of idioms has traditionally treated the idiomatic phrase as a lexical item to which an idiomatic meaning is assigned, and in which remains inert the ordinary literal meaning of the phrase's constitutive words. I draw a distinction between metaphysical lexicalism and methodological lexicalism, and show how criticisms lodged against one kind of lexicalism leave the other intact. Once it is clarified that it is methodological lexicalism that is of interest, and what kind of evidence counts against methodological lexicalism (...)
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  • Agency and Fictional Truth: A Formal Study on Fiction-Making.Giuseppe Spolaore - 2015 - Synthese 192 (5):1235-1265.
    Fictional truth, or truth in fiction/pretense, has been the object of extended scrutiny among philosophers and logicians in recent decades. Comparatively little attention, however, has been paid to its inferential relationships with time and with certain deliberate and contingent human activities, namely, the creation of fictional works. The aim of the paper is to contribute to filling the gap. Toward this goal, a formal framework is outlined that is consistent with a variety of conceptions of fictional truth and based upon (...)
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