Against the Precisificational Approach to Fictional Inconsistencies

Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy (forthcoming)
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Fictional realists claim that fictional characters like Spiderman really do exist. Against this view, Anthony Everett (2005; 2013) argues that fictional realists cannot determine whether characters α and β are identical if the relevant fiction states that α and β are identical and distinct at the same time. Some fictional re-alists, such as Ross Cameron (2013) and Richard Woodward (2017), respond to this objection by saying that the sense in which α and β are identical differs from the sense in which they are distinct. In this paper, I argue that Cameron and Woodward cannot handle all cases without undermining the theoretical foundation of their approach, namely, the thesis that the identity of fictional characters must be determined by the content of the relevant fiction.

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Inchul Yum
Ohio State University


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