Just How Many “Lukes” Are There in A New Hope, Anyway?

In Jason T. Eberl & Kevin S. Decker (eds.), Star Wars and Philosophy Strikes Back. Wiley. pp. 174–182 (2023-01-09)
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Few Star Wars characters are more beloved than Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight, son of Darth Vader, and mentor to Rey. Fictional characters like Luke are wholly defined by how people understand, interpret, and evaluate their depictions within the fictions in which they appear. This chapter explores various ways to provide identity conditions for fictional characters. It examines a more sophisticated, but again ultimately incorrect, account of fictional character identity: the Say‐So Account, in which authors determine whether two characters, from two fictional works, are identical. The Perspectival Account avoids the problems seen in the earlier accounts and provides the authors with an adequate account of identity conditions for fictional characters. Further, the Perspectival Account allows the authors to explain how the truth‐value of fictional character identity claims can change over time.



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Nathan Kellen
Kansas State University
Roy T. Cook
University of St. Andrews

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