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  1. A Critique of Metaphysical Thinking.T. Parent - manuscript
    This is a rough draft of the front matter and ch. 1, for a new book manuscript on metametaphysics.
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  2. Ontology After Folk Psychology; or, Why Eliminativists Should Be Mental Fictionalists.T. Parent - manuscript
    Mental fictionalism is the view that folk psychology should be regarded as a kind of fiction or pretense. This paper first offers a fictionalist prefix semantics for mentalistic discourse (in the style of David Lewis' "Truth in Fiction"), where roughly, a mentalistic sentence "p" is true iff "p" is deducible from the folk psychological fiction. The paper then confronts the charge that an eliminativist version of the view is inconsistent. Replying to this charge takes some work; however, in the end, (...)
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  3. Critical Notice of Ficitionalism in Metaphysics.Zoltan Szabo - manuscript
    I present two challenges to fictionalism. According to the first, the reasons fictionalists offer for acceptance without belief often warrant a somewhat different attitude. According to the second, the possibility of fictionalist acceptnace rests on the poorly supported hypothesis that there is a clear distinction between philsophical and ordinary contexts. This is forthcoming in Noûs.
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  4. Fictionalism About Modality.Author unknown - manuscript
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  5. Truth in Fictionalism.Alexis Burgess - forthcoming - In Michael Glanzberg (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Truth. Oxford University Press.
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  6. A Counterexample to Deflationary Nominalism.Nicholas Danne - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    According to Jody Azzouni’s “deflationary nominalism,” the singular terms of mathematical language applied or unapplied to science refer to nothing at all. What does exist, Azzouni claims, must satisfy the quaternary condition he calls “thick epistemic access”. In this paper I argue that TEA surreptitiously reifies some mathematical entities. The mathematical entity that I take TEA to reify is the Fourier harmonic, an infinite-duration monochromatic sinusoid applied throughout engineering and physics. I defend the reality of the harmonic, in Azzouni’s account, (...)
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  7. What We Talk About When We Talk About Mental States.Zoe Drayson - forthcoming - In Tamas Demeter, T. Parent & Adam Toon (eds.), Mental Fictionalism: Philosophical Explorations.
    Fictionalists propose that some apparently fact-stating discourses do not aim to convey factual information about the world, but rather allow us to engage in a fiction or pretense without incurring ontological commitments. Some philosophers have suggested that using mathematical, modal, or moral discourse, for example, need not commit us to the existence of mathematical objects, possible worlds, or moral facts. The mental fictionalist applies this reasoning to our mental discourse, suggesting that we can use ‘belief’ and ‘desire’ talk without committing (...)
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  8. John-Mark L. Miravalle God, Existence, and Fictional Objects: The Case for Meinongian Theism. . Pp. 186. £85.00 . ISBN 9781350061613. [REVIEW]Paul M. Gould - forthcoming - Religious Studies:1-5.
  9. The Sellarsian Fate of Mental Fictionalism.László Kocsis & Krisztián Pete - forthcoming - In Tamas Demeter, Ted Parent & Adam Toon (eds.), Mental Fictionalism: Philosophical Explorations. New York: Routledge. pp. chapter 6.
    This chapter argues that mental fictionalism can only be a successful account of our ordinary folk-psychological practices if it can in some way preserve its original function, namely its explanatory aspect. A too strong commitment to the explanatory role moves fictionalism unacceptably close to the realist or eliminativist interpretation of folk psychology. To avoid this, fictionalists must degrade or dispense with this explanatory role. This motivation behind the fictionalist movement seems to be rather similar to that of Sellars when he (...)
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  10. Pretence Fictionalism About the Non-Present.Kristie Miller - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Presentists hold that only present things exist. But we all, presentists included, utter sentences that appear to involve quantification over non-present objects, and so we all, presentists included, seem to commit ourselves to such objects. Equally, we all, presentists included, take utterances of many past-tensed (and some future-tensed) sentences to be true. But if no past or future things exist, it’s hard to see how there can be anything that those utterances are about, which makes them true. This paper presents (...)
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  11. Mental Fictionalism: The Costly Combination of Magic and the Mind.Amber Ross - forthcoming - In T. Parent & Adam Toon Tamas Demeter (ed.), Mental Fictionalism: Philosophical Explorations.
    Mental fictionalism is not the benign view that we may better understand the mind if we think of mental states as something like useful fictions, but the more radical view that mental states just are useful fictions. This paper argues that, if one were to treat mental states as a kind of fiction, the genre of fiction best suited to this purpose would be fantasy make-believe, in which magic is a central feature. After defending a promising fictionalist account of mental (...)
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  12. Minds, Materials and Metaphors.Adam Toon - forthcoming - Philosophy.
    What is the relationship between mental states and items of material culture, like notebooks, maps or lists? The extended mind thesis (ExM) offers an influential and controversial answer to this question. According to ExM, items of material culture can form part of the material basis for our mental states. Although ExM offers a radical view of the location of mental states, it fits comfortably with a traditional, representationalist account of the nature of those states. I argue that proponents of ExM (...)
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  13. Mental Fictionalism: A Foothold Amid Deflationary Collapse.Meg Wallace - forthcoming - In Tamas Demeter, Adam Toon & T. Parent (eds.), Mental Fictionalism: Philosophical Explorations.
    This paper examines three meta-ontological deflationary approaches – frameworks, verbal disputes, and metalinguistic negotiation – and applies them to ontological debates in philosophy of mind. An intriguing consequence of this application is that it reveals a deep, systematic problem for mental deflationism – specifically, a problem of cognitive collapse. This is surprising; cognitive collapse problems are usually reserved for serious ontological views such as eliminative materialism and mental fictionalism, not deflationism. This paper investigates why deflationism about the mental is particularly (...)
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  14. Mental Fictionalism.Meg Wallace - forthcoming - In Tamas Demeter, T. Parent & Adam Toon (eds.), Mental Fictionalism: Philosophical Explorations.
    There is an uneasy tension between our ordinary talk about beliefs and desires and the ontological facts supported by neuroscience. Arguments for eliminative materialism can be fairly persuasive, yet error theory about folk psychological discourse may be unacceptable. One solution is to accept mental fictionalism: the view that we are (or should be) fictionalists about mentality. My aim in this paper is to explore mental fictionalism as a viable theoretical option, and to show that it has advantages over other fictionalist (...)
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  15. Review of Brock and Everett (Eds.) Fictional Objects. [REVIEW]Lee Walters - forthcoming - British Journal of Aesthetics.
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  16. Fictional Creations.Maarten Steenhagen - 2021 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism.
    Many people assume that fictional entities are encapsulated in the world of fiction. I show that this cannot be right. Some works of fiction tell us about pieces of poetry, music, or theatre written by fictional characters. Such creations are fictional creations, as I will call them. Their authors do not exist. But that does not take away that we can perform, recite, or otherwise generate actual instances of such works. This means we can bring such individuals actually into existence, (...)
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  17. How Can Buddhists Prove That Non-Existent Things Do Not Exist?Koji Tanaka - 2021 - In Sara Bernstein & Tyron Goldschmidt (eds.), Non-Being: New Essay on the Metaphysics of Non-Existence. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 82-96.
    How can Buddhists prove that non-existent things do not exist? With great difficulty. For the Buddhist, this is not a laughing matter as they are largely global error theorists and, thus, many things are non-existent. The difficulty gets compounded as the Buddhist and their opponent, the non-Buddhist of various kinds, both agree that one cannot prove a thesis whose subject is non-existent. In this paper, I will first present a difficulty that Buddhist philosophers have faced in proving that what they (...)
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  18. Methodology in the Ontology of Artworks: Exploring Hermeneutic Fictionalism.Elisa Caldarola - 2020 - In Concha Martinez Vidal & José Luis Falguera Lopez (ed.), Abstract Objects: For and Against.
    There is growing debate about what is the correct methodology for research in the ontology of artworks. In the first part of this essay, I introduce my view: I argue that semantic descriptivism is a semantic approach that has an impact on meta-ontological views and can be linked with a hermeneutic fictionalist proposal on the meta-ontology of artworks such as works of music. In the second part, I offer a synthetic presentation of the four main positive meta-ontological views that have (...)
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  19. Agnosticism and Fictionalism: A Reply to Le Poidevin.Natalja Deng - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 12 (3):183-188.
    I have always found Robin’s writings on religion delightfully insightful and stimulating, and this piece was no exception. What follows are some of the thoughts that occurred to me, in order of occurrence.
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  20. Reactionary Fictionalism.Jason Dockstader - 2020 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 58 (2):238-263.
    Fictionalism is the view that the claims of a target discourse are best seen as being fictional in some way, as being expressed in some pretense manner, or as not being about the traditional posits of the discourse. The contemporary taxonomy of fictionalist views is quite elaborate. Yet, there is a version of fictionalism that has failed to develop and which corresponds to the earliest form of the view found in the history of philosophy, East and West. I call this (...)
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  21. Fictional Expectations and the Ontology of Power.Torsten Menge - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (29):1-22.
    What kind of thing, as it were, is power and how does it fit into our understanding of the social world? I approach this question by exploring the pragmatic character of power ascriptions, arguing that they involve fictional expectations directed at an open future. When we take an agent to be powerful, we act as if that agent had a robust capacity to make a difference to the actions of others. While this pretense can never fully live up to a (...)
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  22. Can Deflationism Save Interpretivism?Krzysztof Poslajko - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (2):709-725.
    The aim of this paper is to show that the interpretivist account of propositional attitudes fails even at the most plausible reading that treats this theory as a version of the deflationary approach to existence coupled with a metaphysical claim about the judgement-dependence of propositional attitudes. It will be argued that adopting a deflationary reading of interpretivism allows this theory to avoid the common charge of fictionalism, according to which interpretivists cannot maintain realism about attitudes as their theory becomes a (...)
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  23. Fictionalist Strategies in Metaphysics.Lukas Skiba & Richard Woodward - 2020 - In Ricki Bliss & James Miller (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics. New York, NY, USA:
    This paper discusses the nature of, problems for, and benefits delivered by fictionalist strategies in metaphysics.
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  24. As If: Idealization and Ideals, by Kwame Anthony Appiah.Adam Toon - 2020 - Mind 129 (513):275-283.
    As If: Idealization and Ideals, by AppiahKwame Anthony. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2017. Pp. xvi + 218.
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  25. Virtual Reality: Digital or Fictional?Neil McDonnell & Nathan Wildman - 2019 - Disputatio 11 (55):371-397.
    Are the objects and events that take place in Virtual Reality genuinely real? Those who answer this question in the affirmative are realists, and those who answer in the negative are irrealists. In this paper we argue against the realist position, as given by Chalmers, and present our own preferred irrealist account of the virtual. We start by disambiguating two potential versions of the realist position—weak and strong— and then go on to argue that neither is plausible. We then introduce (...)
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  26. Werk und Autorschaft. Eine Ontologie der Kunst.Maria Elisabeth Reicher - 2019 - Paderborn: Mentis.
    In this book, a general type ontology of works is defended and developed in detail. A wide concept of “work” is used here, such that “work” roughly corresponds to “artefact”. Though the focus is on works of art, the theory is meant to be applicable, in principle, to works of science and technology and to everyday items of all sorts as well. Among others, the following questions are discussed: To what ontological category or categories do works belong? Is there a (...)
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  27. Fictionalism, the Safety Result and Counterpossibles.Lukas Skiba - 2019 - Analysis 79 (4):647-658.
    Fictionalists maintain that possible worlds, numbers or composite objects exist only according to theories which are useful but false. Hale, Divers and Woodward have provided arguments which threaten to show that fictionalists must be prepared to regard the theories in question as contingently, rather than necessarily, false. If warranted, this conclusion would significantly limit the appeal of the fictionalist strategy rendering it unavailable to anyone antecedently convinced that mathematics and metaphysics concern non-contingent matters. I try to show that their arguments (...)
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  28. You Cannot Steal Something That Doesn't Exist: Against Fictionalism About Fiction.Fredrik Haraldsen - 2018 - Dialectica 72 (4):603-616.
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  29. Can Fictionalists Have Faith?Finlay Malcolm - 2018 - Religious Studies 54 (2):215-232.
    According to non-doxastic theories of propositional faith, belief that p is not necessary for faith that p. Rather, propositional faith merely requires a ‘positive cognitive attitude’. This broad condition, however, can be satisfied by several pragmatic approaches to a domain, including fictionalism. This paper shows precisely how fictionalists can have faith given non-doxastic theory, and explains why this is problematic. It then explores one means of separating the two theories, in virtue of the fact that the truth of the propositions (...)
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  30. Релігійні виміри сучасної літератури фентезі.Sviatoslav Piven - 2018 - NaUKMA Researh Papers. Literary Studies 1:114-120.
    У статті розглянуто, як у сучасній літературі фентезі (на прикладі циклів «Відьмацька сага» Анджея Сапковського, «Пісня Льоду й Полум’я» Джорджа Мартіна та «Зворотний бік» Дари Корній) висвітлюється проблема релігії. Увага автора статті головно зосереджується на таких питаннях: як на висвітлення проблеми релігії у згаданих творах вплинула секуляризація суспільства, які саме релігійні образи та мотиви, образи релігійних інституцій наявні в творах, яке значення автори творів надають релігії у житті людини.
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  31. Fictionalism Versus Deflationism: A New Look.Matteo Plebani - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (2):301-316.
    In the recent literature there has been some debate between advocates of deflationist and fictionalist positions in metaontology. The purpose of this paper is to advance the debate by reconsidering one objection presented by Amie Thomasson against fictionalist strategies in metaontology. The objection can be reconstructed in the following way. Fictionalists need to distinguish between the literal and the real content of sentences belonging to certain areas of discourse. In order to make that distinction, they need to assign different truth-conditions (...)
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  32. The Will to Make‐Believe: Religious Fictionalism, Religious Beliefs, and the Value of Art.Andrea Sauchelli - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 96 (3):620-635.
    I explore some of the reasons why, under specific circumstances, it may be rational to make-believe or imagine certain religious beliefs. Adopting a jargon familiar to certain contemporary philosophers, my main concern here is to assess what reasons can be given for adopting a fictionalist stance towards some religious beliefs. My understanding of fictionalism does not involve solely a propositional attitude but a broader stance, which may include certain acts of pretence. I also argue that a plausible reason to be (...)
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  33. The Real Foundation of Fictional Worlds.Stacie Friend - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (1):29-42.
    I argue that judgments of what is ‘true in a fiction’ presuppose the Reality Assumption: the assumption that everything that is true is fictionally the case, unless excluded by the work. By contrast with the more familiar Reality Principle, the Reality Assumption is not a rule for inferring implied content from what is explicit. Instead, it provides an array of real-world truths that can be used in such inferences. I claim that the Reality Assumption is essential to our ability to (...)
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  34. Fictionalism and the Incompleteness Problem.Lukas Skiba - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1349-1362.
    Modal fictionalists face a problem that arises due to their possible-world story being incomplete in the sense that certain relevant claims are neither true nor false according to it. It has recently been suggested that this incompleteness problem generalises to other brands of fictionalism, such as fictionalism about composite or mathematical objects. In this paper, I argue that these fictionalist positions are particularly threatened by a generalised incompleteness problem since they cannot emulate the modal fictionalists’ most attractive response. I then (...)
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  35. Only Imagine: Fiction, Interpretation and Imagination.Kathleen Stock - 2017 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    In the first half of this book, I offer a theory of fictional content or, as it is sometimes known, ‘fictional truth’.The theory of fictional content I argue for is ‘extreme intentionalism’. The basic idea – very roughly, in ways which are made precise in the book - is that the fictional content of a particular text is equivalent to exactly what the author of the text intended the reader to imagine. The second half of the book is concerned with (...)
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  36. It Ain’T Easy: Fictionalism, Deflationism, and Easy Arguments in Ontology.Gabriele Contessa - 2016 - Mind 125 (499):763-773.
    Fictionalism and deflationism are two moderate meta-ontological positions that try to occupy a middle ground between the extremes of heavy-duty realism and hard-line eliminativism. Deflationists believe that the existence of certain entities (e.g.: numbers) can be established by means of ‘easy’ arguments—arguments that, supposedly, rely solely on uncontroversial premises and trivial inferences. Fictionalists, however, find easy arguments unconvincing. Amie Thomasson has recently argued that, in their criticism of easy arguments, fictionalists beg the question against deflationism and that the fictionalist alternative (...)
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  37. Prolegomena zu einer jeden künftigen '(Nicht-)Metaphysik' der Religion: (Anti-)Realismus, (Non-)Kognitivismus und die religiöse Imagination.Amber Griffioen - 2016 - In Rico Gutschmidt & Thomas Rentsch (eds.), Gott ohne Theismus. Münster, Germany: pp. 127-147.
    In this chapter, I first explore the possible meanings of the expression 'non-metaphysical religion' and its relation to the realism and cognitivism debates (as well as these debates' relation to each other). I then sketch out and defend the germs of an alternative semantics for religious language that I call 'religious imaginativism'. This semantics attempts to move us away from the realism-antirealism debates in Philosophy of Religion and in this sense might count as 'non-metaphysical'. At the same time, it allows (...)
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  38. Brock, Stuart and Anthony Everett, Eds. Fictional Objects. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015, 299 Pp., $75.00 Cloth. [REVIEW]Luke Manning - 2016 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 74 (3):318-321.
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  39. Buddhist Reductionism, Fictionalism About the Self, and Buddhist Fictionalism.Andrea Sauchelli - 2016 - Philosophy East and West 66 (4):1273-1291.
    I discuss an interpretation, recently proposed by Mark Siderits, of the claim that within the Buddhist tradition the self is a convenient fiction. I subsequently propose a novel approach to fictionalism in contemporary metaphysics, outline an application of such an approach to the case of the self and then specify one version of fictionalism combined with some basic tenets of Buddhism.
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  40. Saving Mental Fictionalism From Cognitive Collapse.Meg Wallace - 2016 - Res Philosophica 93 (2):405-424.
    Mental fictionalism maintains that: folk psychology is a false theory, but we should nonetheless keep using it, because it is useful, convenient, or otherwise beneficial to do so. We should treat folk psychology as a useful fiction—false, but valuable. Yet some argue that mental fictionalism is incoherent: if a mental fictionalist rejects folk psychology then she cannot appeal to fictions in an effort to keep folk psychological discourse around, because fictions presuppose the legitimacy of folk psychology. Call this the Argument (...)
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  41. How Fictional Worlds Are Created.Deena Skolnick Weisberg - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (8):462-470.
    Both adults and children have the ability to not only think about reality but also use their imaginations and create fictional worlds. This article describes the process by which world creation happens, drawing from philosophical and psychological treatments of this issue. First, world creators recognize the need to create a fictional world, as when starting a pretend game or opening a novel. Then, creators merge some real-world knowledge with the premises of the fictional world to construct a fuller representation, though (...)
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  42. New Problems for Modal Fictionalism.Bradley Armour-Garb - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (5):1201-1219.
    In this paper, after clarifying certain features of Gideon Rosen’s Modal Fictionalism, I raise two problems for that view and argue that these problems strongly suggest that advocates of a “Deflationist Strategy” ought not to endorse, or adopt Rosen-style Modal Fictionalism.
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  43. Pretense and Pathology: Philosophical Fictionalism and its Applications.Bradley Armour-Garb & James A. Woodbridge - 2015 - Cambridge University Press.
    In this book, Bradley Armour-Garb and James A. Woodbridge distinguish various species of fictionalism, locating and defending their own version of philosophical fictionalism. Addressing semantic and philosophical puzzles that arise from ordinary language, they consider such issues as the problem of non-being, plural identity claims, mental-attitude ascriptions, meaning attributions, and truth-talk. They consider 'deflationism about truth', explaining why deflationists should be fictionalists, and show how their philosophical fictionalist account of truth-talk underwrites a dissolution of the Liar Paradox and its kin. (...)
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  44. Truth, Pretense and the Liar Paradox.Bradley Armour-Garb & James A. Woodbridge - 2015 - In Kentaro Fujimoto, José Martínez Fernández, Henri Galinon & Theodora Achourioti (eds.), Unifying the Philosophy of Truth. Springer Verlag. pp. 339-354.
    In this paper we explain our pretense account of truth-talk and apply it in a diagnosis and treatment of the Liar Paradox. We begin by assuming that some form of deflationism is the correct approach to the topic of truth. We then briefly motivate the idea that all T-deflationists should endorse a fictionalist view of truth-talk, and, after distinguishing pretense-involving fictionalism (PIF) from error- theoretic fictionalism (ETF), explain the merits of the former over the latter. After presenting the basic framework (...)
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  45. Ontology and Metaontology: A Contemporary Guide.Francesco Berto & Matteo Plebani - 2015 - Bloomsbury Academic.
    'Ontology and Metaontology: A Contemporary Guide' is a clear and accessible survey of ontology, focussing on the most recent trends in the discipline. -/- Divided into parts, the first half characterizes metaontology: the discourse on the methodology of ontological inquiry, covering the main concepts, tools, and methods of the discipline, exploring the notions of being and existence, ontological commitment, paraphrase strategies, fictionalist strategies, and other metaontological questions. The second half considers a series of case studies, introducing and familiarizing the reader (...)
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  46. Religion for Naturalists.Natalja Deng - 2015 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 78 (2):195-214.
    Some naturalists feel an affinity with some religions, or with a particular religion. They may have previously belonged to it, and/or been raised in it, and/or be close to people who belong to it, and/or simply feel attracted to its practices, texts and traditions. This raises the question of whether and to what extent a naturalist can lead the life of a religious believer. The sparse literature on this topic focuses on religious fictionalism. I also frame the debate in these (...)
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  47. A Free Logic for Fictionalism.Mircea Dumitru - 2015 - In Iulian D. Toader, Gabriel Sandu & Ilie Pȃrvu (eds.), Romanian Studies in Philosophy of Science. Springer Verlag.
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  48. Closed Drawers and Hidden Faces: Arendt's Kantian Defense of Fictional Worlds.Eleanor D. Helms - 2015 - Philosophy and Literature 39 (1A):16-31.
    Does telling a story imply a fictional world in which that story takes place? In contemporary philosophy, “fictional worlds” are one solution to the problem of how there can be true and false judgments about fictional characters. Fictional-world accounts generally disregard whether facts are explicitly stated in the story or not; it is enough for them to be logically implied. And yet, as Ruth Lorand has observed, whether a fact is stated or merely implied changes the meaning of a story. (...)
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  49. Pretense and Fiction-Directed Thought.Michael R. Hicks - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (6):1549-1573.
    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 (...)
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  50. Names of Attitudes and Norms for Attitudes.Inga Nayding - 2015 - Disputatio 7 (40):1-24.
    Fictionalists claim that instead of believing certain controversial propositions they accept them nonseriously, as useful make-believe. In this way they present themselves as having an austere ontology despite the apparent ontological commitments of their discourse. Some philosophers object that this plays on a distinction without a difference: the fictionalist’s would-be nonserious acceptance is the most we can do for the relevant content acceptance-wise, hence such acceptance is no different from what we ordinarily call ‘belief’ and should be so called. They (...)
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