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Synthese

, Volume 195, Issue 1, pp 235–257 | Cite as

Reference fiction, and omission

  • Samuel MurrayEmail author
Article

Abstract

In this paper, I argue that sentences that contain ‘omission’ tokens that appear to function as singular terms are meaningful while maintaining the view that omissions are nothing at all or mere absences. I take omissions to be fictional entities and claim that the way in which sentences about fictional characters are true parallels the way in which sentences about omissions are true. I develop a pragmatic account of fictional reference and argue that my fictionalist account of omissions implies a plausible account of the metaphysics of omissions.

Keywords

Omission Reference Fictionalism Action Theory Semantics 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Thanks to Joe Salerno, Justin Noia, and Randy Clarke for comments on drafts of this paper. Thanks also to the editors and two anonymous reviewers for this journal for suggestions that strengthened this essay considerably. Part of my work on this paper was supported by a grant from Florida State University through the Philosophy and Science of Self-Control Project.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy DepartmentUniversity of Notre DameNotre DameUSA

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