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Amie L. Thomasson

Fiction, Existence and Indeterminacy


ISBN: 978-3-88405-510-6

Price: €22.00 (including 19 % tax)


Abstract

Thomasson  has elsewhere argued that there are fictional characters, which are abstract artifacts created in the process of telling works of fiction. Here she  aims to respond to some of the most serious criticisms that have been raised against the artifactual theory of fiction. The first criticism is that although, on the artifactualist view, there really are fictional characters, we are nonetheless inclined to say that Sherlock Holmes does not exist. In response Thomasson defends what she calls the ‘application conditions approach’ to existence questions which, she argues, does the best job overall of handling the intricate challenges of analyzing existential claims involving fictional names. Other criticisms have been raised by Anthony Everett, who argues that principles the realist must accept linking truths within the fictional world to real-world truths about fictional characters, when combined with bizarre stories, force the realist to accept inconsistencies and problematic indeterminacies in the real world. Thomasson argues, however, that in each case either the realist about fiction is not committed to the problematic principle, or the principle doesn’t lead to such dire problems as Everett supposes. Overall, the artifactual theory remains an appealing and defensible part of a more comprehensive philosophical package.

About the Author


Amie Thomasson is Professor and Parodi Senior Scholar in Aesthetics at the University of Miami.  She is the author of Ordinary Objects (Oxford University Press, 2007), Fiction and Metaphysics (Cambridge University Press, 1999), and co-editor (with David W. Smith) of Phenomenology and Philosophy of Mind (Oxford University Press, 2005).  In addition she has published numerous book chapters and articles on topics in metaphysics, metaontology, fiction, philosophy of mind and phenomenology, the philosophy of art, and social ontology. She is currently working on problems regarding modality, existence questions, and the methods of metaphysics.

email:  thomasson@miami.edu

website: http://sites.google.com/site/amiethomasson/




 





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