- This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'Fiction1' during my Thesis research, as from 2019.
- For the actual time recorded, click on "Paper Statistics" above.
Write-up2 (as at 23/01/2019 18:04:19): Fiction
- This is a rather tangential topic for my Thesis, though fictional characters are (usually) persons4, so I have to say how I – as an animalist5 – can account for this given that they are not animals. Not hard.
- We might also consider what are the persistence conditions6 of a fictional character. Are there things his creator cannot do to the character without killing him off? Can the character be resurrected? What is the ontological status of a fictional character? In what sense – if any – do they exist? What about characters – like Superman that pass into the public domain? Or – like Dr. Who – that are portrayed as having different characters and bodies across what purports to be a single story-line?
- Various Thought Experiments rely on cases from science-fiction, the possibility (or rather their suspected impossibility) of which can undermine their cogency. Science-fiction cases are covered under the head of TEs7 rather than under this Note.
- Sundry philosophers – eg. Hume – complain that various things we normally take for granted (such as the self, or persisting objects) are “fictions” – that is, they do not exist. I doubt such complaints should be dealt with under this note, but a few such items might have strayed into the reading lists.
- Yuval Noah Harari argues that much of what we ordinarily believe are “convenient fictions” rather than truths. They help to hold society – and the individuals within it – together.
- I have not yet extended this Note (and in particular the reading lists) to include “myth”. Myths divide into redundant fantasies and the still-current ways in which we speak of and seek to make sense of the world in ways that go beyond – or against – what can actually be known.
- Fictionalism appears as an alternative to realism with respect to mathematics, modality8 and the past9 (and probably elsewhere).
- For a page of Links10 to this Note, Click here. Because of the large number of links, I ran an “updating run” only for “fictionalism”. Since these works are better considered under the head of the Notes on the topics of which “fictionalism” is an account, they do not – in general – feature in the reading lists below.
- Works on this topic that I’ve actually read11, include12 the following:-
- "Botros (Sophie) - A Realist Present and a Coherentist Past", Botros
- "Botros (Sophie) - Truth, Time and History - A Philosophical Inquiry with Dr Sophie Botros", Botros
- "Casati (Roberto) & Varzi (Achille) - Holes", Casati
- "Del Mar (Maksymilian) - The legal imagination", Del Mar
- "Eagle (Anthony) - Telling Tales", Eagle
- "Eco (Umberto) - The Name of the Rose", Eco13
- "Ehrman (Bart D.) - Truth and Fiction in The Da Vinci Code: A Historian Reveals What We Really Know About Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and Constantine", Ehrman14
- "Goodman (Nelson) - Fact, Fiction and Forecast", Goodman15
- "Harari (Yuval Noah) - Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind", Harari
- "Lewis (David) - Truth in Fiction", Lewis
- "Olson (Eric) - Thinking Animals and the Constitution View", Olson
- "Orwell (George), Davison (Peter), Taylor (D.J.), Ed. - Nineteen Eighty-Four: The Annotated Edition", Orwell
- "Passmore (John) - Narratives and Events", Passmore
- "Putnam (Hilary) - Is There a Fact of the Matter About Fiction?", Putnam16
- "Rey (Georges) - Meta-atheism: Religious Avowal as Self-Deception", Rey
- "Smith (Barry C.), Broks (Paul), Kennedy (A.L.) & Evans (Jules) - What Does It Mean to Be Me?", Smith, Etc.17
- "Thomas (Janice L.) - The identity theory", Thomas
- "Van Inwagen (Peter) - Plantinga’s Replacement Argument", Van Inwagen
- "Williams (Christopher) - Being, Identity and Truth: Preface", Williams
- A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
- "Azzouni (Jody) - Criteria for What Exists", Azzouni
- "Blackburn (Simon) - Fiction and Conviction", Blackburn
- "Blackburn (Simon) - Quasi-Realism No Fictionalism", Blackburn
- "Borges (Jorge Luis) - Labyrinths: Selected Stories and Other Writings", Borges
- "Brock (Stuart) - Fictionalism about Fictional Characters", Brock
- "Brock (Stuart) - The Creationist Fiction: The Case against Creationism about Fictional Characters", Brock18
- "Brown (M.T.) - Multiple Personality and Personal Identity", Brown
- "Brueckner (Anthony) - Humean Fictions", Brueckner
- "Byrne (Alex) - Truth In Fiction: The Story Continued", Byrne
- "Cave (Terence) - Fictional Identities", Cave
- "Crittenden (Charles) - Unreality - The Metaphysics of Fictional Objects", Crittenden
- "Dennett (Daniel) - Artifactual Selves: a Response to Lynne Rudder Baker", Dennett
- "Dorr (Cian) - What We Disagree about When We Disagree about Ontology", Dorr
- "Ferguson (Niall), Ed. - Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactuals", Ferguson
- "Frigg (Roman) & Hartmann (Stephan) - Models in Science", Frigg19
- "Hanley (Richard) - As Good As It Gets: Lewis on Truth in Fiction", Hanley
- "Jubien (Michael) - Is There Truth in Fiction?", Jubien
- "Kripke (Saul) - Vacuous Names and Fictional Entities", Kripke
- "Kroon (Fred) - Review of Towards Non-Being: the Logic and Metaphysics of Intentionality,
by Graham Priest.", Kroon
- "LePoidevin (Robin) - Is God a Fiction?", LePoidevin
- "Livingston (Paisley) & Sauchelli (Andrea) - Philosophical perspectives on fictional characters", Livingston
- "Mackie (J.L.) - Identity and Diversity", Mackie20
- "Nolan (Daniel) & O'Leary-Hawthorne (John) - Reflexive Fictionalisms", Nolan21
- "Nozick (Robert) - Fiction", Nozick
- "Parsons (Terence) - A Meinongian Analysis of Fictional Objects", Parsons
- "Plantinga (Alvin) - Possible But Unactual Objects: On What There Isn't", Plantinga
- "Phillips (John F.) - Truth and Inference in Fiction", Phillips
- "Priest (Stephen) - Fiction", Priest
- "Priest (Graham) - Sylvan's Box: a Short Story and Ten Morals", Priest
- "Proudfoot (Diane) - Possible Worlds Semantics and Fiction", Proudfoot
- "Salmon (Nathan) - Mythical Objects", Salmon
- "Salmon (Nathan) - Nonexistence", Salmon
- "Shapiro (Stewart) - No They Don't", Shapiro22
- "Shieh (Sanford) - The Anti-Realist's Past", Shieh
- "Stear (Nils-Hennes) - Imaginative and Fictionality Failure: A Normative Approach", Stear
- "Suddendorf (Thomas) - The Gap", Suddendorf
- "Sutherland (John) - Is Heathcliff a Murderer: Puzzles in 19th-Century Fiction", Sutherland
- "Thomasson (Amie L.) - Fiction and Intentionality", Thomasson
- "Thomasson (Amie L.) - Fiction, Modality and Dependent Abstracta", Thomasson
- "Thomasson (Amie L.) - Fictional Entities", Thomasson
- "Thomasson (Amie L.) - Ontological Minimalism", Thomasson
- "Thomasson (Amie L.) - Speaking of Fictional Characters", Thomasson
- "Van Inwagen (Peter) - Creatures of Fiction", Van Inwagen
- "Van Inwagen (Peter) - Existence, Ontological Commitment and Fictional Entities", Van Inwagen
- "Van Inwagen (Peter) - Fiction and Metaphysics", Van Inwagen
- "Velleman (David) - The Self as Narrator", Velleman
- "Walton (Kendall L.) - Fearing Fictions", Walton
- "Williams (Bernard) - Truth and Truthfulness: An Essay in Genealogy", Chapter 2, Williams
- "Williams (Christopher) - Death and Other Difficulties", Williams
- "Yablo (Stephen) - Go Figure: A Path through Fictionalism", Yablo
- This is mostly a place-holder23.
- This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (23/01/2019 18:04:19).
- Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
- A number of my philosophical Notes are “promissory notes” currently only listing the books and papers (if any) I possess on the topic concerned.
- I’ve decided to add some text – whether by way of motivation, or something more substantive – for all these identified topics related to my Thesis.
- As I want to do this fairly quickly, the text may be confused or show surprising ignorance.
- The reader (if such exists) will have to bear with me, and display the principle of charity while this footnote exists.
- If only a “non-updating” run has been made, the links are only one-way – ie. from the page of links to the objects that reference this Note by mentioning the appropriate key-word(s). The links are also only indicative, as they haven’t yet been confirmed as relevant.
- Once an updating run has been made, links are both ways, and links from this Notes page (from the “Authors, Books & Papers Citing this Note” and “Summary of Note Links to this Page” sections) are to the “point of link” within the page rather than to the page generically. Links from the “links page” remain generic.
- There are two sorts of updating runs – for Notes and other Objects. The reason for this is that Notes are archived, and too many archived versions would be created if this process were repeatedly run.
- Frequently I’ll have made copious marginal annotations, and sometimes have written up a review-note.
- In the former case, I intend to transfer the annotations into electronic form as soon as I can find the time.
- In the latter case, I will have remarked on the fact against the citation, and will integrate the comments into this Note in due course.
- My intention is to incorporate into these Notes comments on material I’ve already read rather than engage with unread material at this stage.
Footnote 13: See the Review.
- I may have read others in between updates of this Note – in which case they will be marked as such in the “References and Reading List” below.
- Papers or Books partially read have a rough %age based on the time spent versus the time expected.
Footnote 15: Why did Goodman put ‘Fiction’ in the title?
- This is a useful case-study about the distinction between ‘veridical’ and ‘fictional’ accounts of the past.
- In cases where the truth about the past cannot be known, there is still a valid distinction between probable and fantastic readings.
Footnote 16: This paper is about interpretation.
Footnote 17: See the Introductory Seminar.
Footnote 18: Not a ‘Philosophy of Religion’ paper, despite the introduction.
Footnote 19: Section 2.2
Footnote 20: “Hume’s claim that identity is a fiction”.
Footnote 21: Probably move this to Modality in due course.
Footnote 22: Fictionalism in mathematics.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019