Fictional Entities

Online Companion to Problems in Analytic Philosophy (2013)
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Abstract

In this entry I present one of the most hotly debated issues in contemporary analytic philosophy regarding the nature of fictional entities and the motivations that might be adduced for and against positing them into our ontology. The entry is divided in two parts. In the first part I offer an overview of the main accounts of the metaphysics of fictional entities according to three standard realist views, fictional Meinongianism, fictional possibilism and fictional creationism. In the second part I describe two main kinds of arguments for or against positing fictional entities into our ontology. The first kind is traditionally inspired by the linguistic data coming from our talk about fictional characters. The second kind is more recent and it builds on genuine ontological considerations.

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Fiora Salis
University of York

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