A Suitable Metaphysics for Fictional Entities

In Stuart Brock & Anthony Everett (eds.), Fictional Objects. Oxford University Press. pp. 129-146 (2015)
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There is a list of desiderata that any good metaphysics of fictional entities should be able to fulfill. These desiderata are: 1) the nonexistence of fictional entities; 2) the causal inefficacy of suchentities;3)the incompleteness of such entities;4)the created character of such entities; 5) the actual possession by ficta of the narrated properties; 6) the unrevisable ascription to ficta of such properties; and 7) the necessary possession by ficta of such properties. (Im)possibilist metaphysics uncontroversially satisfy 1) and 2); Neo-Meinongian metaphysics satisfy 1), 2), 3), 5), 6), and 7); artefactualist or creationist metaphysics uncontroversially satisfy 1), 2), 3), and 4). Another metaphysics is needed in order to satisfy all such desiderata. In this chapter Idevelop such a metaphysics, claiming that a Syncretistic metaphysics that combines Neo-Meinongianism with Artefactualism achieves this purpose. According to Syncretism, ficta are hybrid entities individuated in terms of both a certain makebelieve narrative process and the set of properties that one such narration mobilizes. Toward the end of the chapter I consider some possible criticisms to this approach: its non-intuitiveness; ficta’s unnecessary proliferation; and troubles with creationism of any sort.

Author's Profile

Alberto Voltolini
Università degli Studi di Torino


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