Advertisement

Synthese

, Volume 191, Issue 3, pp 499–516 | Cite as

Towards a semantics for the artifactual theory of fiction and beyond

  • Matthieu Fontaine
  • Shahid RahmanEmail author
Article
  • 441 Downloads

Abstract

In her book Fiction and Metaphysics (1999) Amie Thomasson, influenced by the work of Roman Ingarden, develops a phenomenological approach to fictional entities in order to explain how non-fictional entities can be referred to intrafictionally and transfictionally, for example in the context of literary interpretation. As our starting point we take Thomasson’s realist theory of literary fictional objects, according to which such objects actually exist, albeit as abstract and artifactual entities. Thomasson’s approach relies heavily on the notion of ontological dependence, but its precise semantics has not yet been developed. Moreover, the modal approach to the notion of ontological dependence underlying the Artifactual Theory has recently been contested by several scholars. The main aims of this paper are (i) to develop a semantic approach to the notion of ontological dependence in the context of the Artifactual Theory of fiction, and in so doing bridge a number of philosophical and logical gaps; (ii) to generalize Thomasson’s categorial theory of ontological dependence by reconstructing ontological categories of entities purely in terms of different structures of ontological dependence, rather than in terms of the basic kinds of entities the categorical entities depend on.

Keywords

Artifactual theory Ontological dependence Fiction Non-existence 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors are indebted to Tero Tulenheimo for his valuable input during the initial stages of writing, to two anonymous referees for crucial remarks and to Gareth Wilson and Cheryl Lobb de Rahman for linguistic and stylistic corrections.

References

  1. Bencivenga, E. (1986). Free logics. In D. Gabbay & F. Guenther (Eds.), Handbook of philosophical logic (Vol. 3, pp. 373–426). Dordrecht: Reidel.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Berto, F. (2008). Modal Meinongianism for fictional objects. Metaphysica, 9, 205–218.Google Scholar
  3. Berto, F. (2011). Modal Meinongianism and fiction: The best of three worlds. Philosophical Studies, 152, 313–335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cameron, R. (2008). Turtles all the way down: Regress priority and fundamentality. Philosophical Quarterly, 58, 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Correia, F. (2005). Existential dependence and cognate notions. Munich: Philosophia Verlag.Google Scholar
  6. Fine, K. (1995). Ontological dependence. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, New Series 95 (pp. 269–290). Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  7. Fontaine, M., & Rahman, S. (2010). Fiction, creation and fictionality: An overview, methodos. Retrieved April 10, 2010, from http://methodos.revues.org/2343.
  8. Fontaine, M., & Rahman, S. (2012). Individuality in fiction and the creative role of the reader. Revue Internationale de Philosophie, 4(262), 539–560.Google Scholar
  9. Fontaine, M., & Redmond, J. (2012). To be is to be chosen. In C. Barés Gómez, S. Magnier, & F. Salgero (Eds.), Logic of knowledge (pp. 203–220). London: College Publications.Google Scholar
  10. Ingarden, R. (1931). Das literarische Kunstwerk. Eine Untersuchung aus dem Grenzgebiet der Ontologie, Logik und Literaturwissenschaft. Halle: Max Niemeyer.Google Scholar
  11. Ingarden, R. (1968). Vom Erkennen des literarischen Kunstwerks. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer.Google Scholar
  12. Jenkins, C. S. (2001). Is metaphysical dependence irreflexive? The Monist, 94, 267–276.Google Scholar
  13. Kripke, S. (1980). Naming and necessity. Harvard: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Kroon, F., & Voltolini, A. (2011). Fiction, the stanford encyclopedia of philosophy (fall 2011 edition). In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2011/entries/fiction/
  15. Lowe, E. J. (1994). Ontological dependency. Philosophical Papers, 23, 31–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lowe, E. J. (1998). The possibility of metaphysics. Oxford: Oxford Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  17. Parsons, T. (1988). Nonexistent objects. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Priest, G. (2005). Towards non-being: The logic and metaphysics of intentionality. Oxford: Clarendon Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Priest, G. (2011). Creating non-existents. In F. Lihoreau (Ed.), Truth in fiction (pp. 107–118). Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag.Google Scholar
  20. Rahman, S., & Tulenheimo, T. (2009). Fictions as creations and the fictionality operator (unpublished manuscript).Google Scholar
  21. Ranta, A. (1994). Type-theoretical grammar. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  22. Read, S. (1995). Thinking about logic. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Redmond, J. (2011). Logique dynamique de la fiction. London: College Publications.Google Scholar
  24. Rosen, G. (2010). Metaphysical dependence: Grounding and reduction. In B. Hale & A. Hoffman (Eds.), Modality (pp. 109–135). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Schaeffer, J.-M. (1999). Pourquoi la fiction?. Paris: Seuil.Google Scholar
  26. Schaffer, J. (2009). On what grounds what. In D. Chalmers, D. Manley, & R. Wasserman (Eds.), Metametaphysics (pp. 347–383). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Simons, P. (1987). Parts. A study in ontology. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  28. Thomasson, A. L. (1999). Fiction and metaphysics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Thomasson, A. L. (2003). Speaking of fictional characters. Dialectica, 57, 207–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Voltolini, A. (2006). How ficta follow fiction: A syncretistic account of fictional entities. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  31. Walton, K. L. (1990). Mimesis as make-believe. On the foundations of representational arts. London: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Zalta, E. N. (1983). Abstract objects: An introduction to axiomatic metaphysics. Dordrecht: Reidel.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Zalta, E. N. (1988). Intentional logic and the metaphysics of intentionality. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sciences Humaines, Lettres et Arts, CNRS-UMR 8163:STL, Université de Lille3 Villeneuve d’AscqFrance

Personalised recommendations