Telling Tales
Eagle (Anthony)
Source: Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 2006/7; Draft of December 11, 2006
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Introduction

  1. Works of fiction contain declarative sentences with a completely standard semantics1, continuous with the rest of the natural language in which those works are written. One can easily imagine that some given group of sentences could comprise either a novel or a biography, with no semantic alteration. One would not need to learn anything about meanings in one’s natural language to understand one, if one already understood the other.
  2. However, there must be some difference between the novel and the biography, as we do not take sentences in fictions to be attempts to describe reality; nor do we take the authors of fictions to be asserting the content of those sentences.
  3. Moreover, there must be something we learn when we learn the difference between novels and biographies, which doesn’t involve the meanings of the sentences but rather involves learning how to deal successfully with those sentences.
  4. Etc …

Comment:

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