Back Cover Blurb
- Charles Crittenden here offers an original solution to one of the traditional dilemmas of philosophy — whether there can be any thing not existing, since to say that some thing does not exist seems to presuppose its existence. Drawing on the tools of Wittgensteinian philosophy and speech act theory, Crittenden argues that we can and often do make reference to unreal objects such as fictional characters, though they do not exist in any sense at all.
- Crittenden surveys and assesses key positions on the problem of nonbeing developed both by early twentieth-century thinkers, particularly Meinong and Russell, and by contemporary philosophers including Parsons, Searle, Kripke, van Inwagen, Walton, and Evans. Throughout, he describes the concepts embedded in our talk about fictions and shows that in ordinary language there is genuine reference to fictional objects, although such reference does not carry any existential commitment. Crittenden addresses major issues and puzzles concerning nonbeing and in closing considers the implications of his analysis on various metaphysical and ethical positions, including the views of Eastern philosophy concerning the fictionality of the world.
- Philosophers – especially those working in philosophy of language, metaphysics, and aesthetics – literary theorists, and others interested in the intersection of philosophy and the imagination will want to read this provocative application of ordinary language philosophy to a classic philosophical problem.
- Charles Crittenden is Professor of Philosophy at California State University, Northridge. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his Ph.D. from Cornell University.
- REFERENCE AND NONEXISTENCE IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
- Solutions and Strategies
- Elimination by Paraphrase: The Theory of Descriptions
- REFERENCE AND FICTION
- Reference as Identification
- Objects and Existence
- Is Reference to Nonexistent Objects Only Pretended? Searle, Walton, and Evans
- THE UNREALITY OF FICTIONS
- Objects and the Structure of Reference
- Frameworks and Types of Object
- Fictions as a Conceptual Type
- Fictions as Unreal
- Kripke on Fictions as Nonexistent
- Objections and Replies
- Is Ordinary Thought Meinongian?
- FICTIONAL DISCOURSE
- The Origins of Nonexistent Objects: Storytelling
- Constructing, Reporting, and Commenting on Fiction
- Two Puzzling Cases
- ALTERNATIVE REFERENTIAL THEORIES OF FICTION
- Van Inwagen: Fictions as Theoretical Entities
- Parsons's Quinean Meinongianism and the Methodology of Nonexistence
- Are There Really Nonexistent Objects?
- REAL THINGS IN FICTION, LOGICAL COMPLETENESS, AND OTHER FORMS OF REPRESENTATION
- Are Stories about Real Things?
- Are Fictional Characters Logically Complete?
- Objects in Myths, Dreams, and Nonrealistic Fiction
- IS EVERYTHING FICTITIOUS?
- How Do I Know That I Am Not a Fictional Character?
- Everything Is Fictional: The Metaphysical Thesis
- Ethical Attitudes toward Reality as a Construct
Cornell University Press (14 May 1991)
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