Philosophical Studies

, Volume 172, Issue 6, pp 1549–1573 | Cite as

Pretense and fiction-directed thought

  • Michael R. Hicks


Thought about fictional characters is special, and needs to be distinguished from ordinary world-directed thought. On my interpretation, Kendall Walton and Gareth Evans have tried to show how this serious fiction-directed thought can arise from engagement with a kind of pretending. Many criticisms of their account have focused on the methodological presupposition, that fiction-directed thought is the appropriate explanandum. In the first part of this paper, I defend the methodological claim, and thus the existence of the problem to which pretense is supposed to be a solution. In the second part, I elaborate and defend the pretense theory as a solution to this problem.


Fiction Pretense Kendall Walton Gareth Evans 



This paper has been gestating for many years, over which time I have discussed the material with too many people to list. Thanks especially to Maura Tumulty for giving me the initial motivation to write it, to Dan Guevara for reading a late draft, and to an anonymous reviewer for this journal for incisive criticisms.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Miami UniversityOxfordOhio

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