Mostrando las entradas de octubre 20, 2015

Pretending to believe in fictional entities

There are almost as many kinds of nominalisms as there are ontological (and semantic categories). There are nominalists of inobservable entities and nominalists regarding mathematical objects; my concern here is with nominalists regarding fictional characters, that is, philosophers who think fictional characters do not exist tout court. They do not subsist or inexist or otherwise occur within our ontology. Thus, this nominalism faces similar problems as other sorts of nominalisms. In particular, I think the basic issue plaguing nominalisms today is that language use is not so neatly divided in discrete domains of discourse. Mathematical nominalists, for example, have strong problems when trying to account for mathematical application and, in general, the way mathematical vocabulary is so deeply interwoven into non-mathematical areas. A nominalism for fictional name faces a similar problem of accounting for the use of fictional empty names outside fiction. The nominalist about fictiona…