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Organon F

Volume 28, February 2021, Issue 1, Pages 223–252

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

Research Article | Special issue on Names and Fictions

Anti-Realism about Fictional Names at Work: A New Theory for Metafictional Sentences

Louis Rouillé

https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2021.28110

Abstract

In this article, I contribute to ongoing debates about the status of fictional names. The main debate in the philosophy of language focuses on whether fictional names should be thought of as non-referring terms (this is anti-realism) or referring terms (this is realism). This debate corresponds to a debate in metaphysics about the ontological status of fictional characters: the anti-realist claim that fictional characters do not exist while the realist say that they do exist in some sense. Although anti-realism is pre-theoretically intuitive, it has been challenged by a powerful argument in favour of realism based on so-called “metafictional” uses of fictional terms. This argument puts a lot of pressure on the anti-realist, for they have to come up with a theory of metafictional sentences which is in keeping with the anti-realist central tenet. I show that the existing anti-realist account of metafictional statements is wrong-headed. I thus propose a new one. In doing so, I hope to free the anti-realist from the realist pressure. However, I do not offer any argument against realism. Consequently, I merely claim that anti-realism be a live option. My modest proposal will, perhaps, make anti-realism more attractive than it is today among philosophers of language.

Keywords

Anti-realism; fiction; fictional terms; free logic; metafictional statements; reference.

Author(s) and affiliation(s)

Author

Louis Rouillé 

Affiliation

Institut Jean Nicod

Address

Institut Jean Nicod UMR 8129 Pavillon Jardin Ecole Normale Supérieure 29, rue d’Ulm F-75230 Paris cedex 05, France

E-mail

louis.rouille@netc.eu

About this article

Received

22 February 2020

Accepted

2 October 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

Rouillé, L. (2021). Anti-Realism about Fictional Names at Work: A New Theory for Metafictional Sentences. Organon F, 28(1), 223–252. https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2021.28110

Chicago

Rouillé, Louis. 2021. "Anti-Realism about Fictional Names at Work: A New Theory for Metafictional Sentences." Organon F 28 (1): 223–252. https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2021.28110

Harvard

Rouillé, L. (2021). Anti-Realism about Fictional Names at Work: A New Theory for Metafictional Sentences. Organon F, 28(1), pp. 223–252. https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2021.28110

Copyright information

© Louis Rouillé

Response page

https://www.sav.sk/?lang=sk&doc=journal-list&part=article_response_page&journal_article_no=25593 

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
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813 64 Bratislava
Slovak Republic
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FAX (+421 2) 5292 1215

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