OK

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more

Organon F

Volume 28, February 2021, Issue 1, Pages 9–43

ISSN 2585-7150 (online) ISSN 1335-0668 (print)

Research Article | Special issue on Names and Fictions

The Meanings of Fictional Names

Fiora Salis

https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2021.28102

Abstract

According to Millianism, the meaning of a name is exhausted by its referent. According to anti-realism about fictional entities, there are no such entities. If there are no fictional entities, how can we explain the apparent meaningfulness of fictional names? Our best theory of fiction, Walton’s theory of make-believe, makes the same assumptions but lacks the theoretical resources to answer the question. In this paper, I propose a pragmatic solution in terms of two main dimensions of meaning, a subjective, psychological dimension and an intersubjective, public dimension. The psychological dimension builds on the notion of mental files; the public dimension builds on Stalnaker’s notion of common ground. The account is coherent with two main theoretical principles, parsimony and uniformity. Furthermore, it satisfies three explanatory conditions posed by the intentionality of our thought and discourse about fiction, object-directedness, counterfictional imagining and intersubjective identification.

Keywords

Fictional names, mental files, common ground, make-believe, Mill, Walton, Stalnaker.

Author(s) and affiliation(s)

Author

Fiora Salis 

Affiliation

The University of York

Address

Department of Philosophy University of York, Heslington, York UK YO10 5DD

E-mail

fiora.salis@york.ac.uk

About this article

Received

19 May 2020

Accepted

23 November 2020

Published online

28 February 2021

Publishers

Institute of Philosophy of the Slovak Academy of Sciences

Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Cite as

APA

Salis, F. (2021). The Meanings of Fictional Names. Organon F28(1), 9–43. https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2021.28102

Chicago

Salis, Fiora. 2021. "The Meanings of Fictional Names." Organon F 28 (1): 9–43. https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2021.28102

Harvard

Salis, F.  (2021). The Meanings of Fictional Names. Organon F, 28(1), pp. 9–43. https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2021.28102

Copyright information

© Fiora Salis

Response page

https://www.sav.sk/?lang=sk&doc=journal-list&part=article_response_page&journal_article_no=25585 

The above URL is linked with the article's response page. The response page is a permanent location that is associated with the article's DOI number.


This article is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Contact

Institute of Philosophy
Slovak Academy of Sciences
Klemensova 19
813 64 Bratislava
Slovak Republic
(+421 2) 5292 1215
FAX (+421 2) 5292 1215

Organon F takes part on the long-term preservation of the digital cultural heritage carried out by the University Library in Bratislava.