Title

Fictional objects, non-existence, and the principle of characterization

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Philosophical Studies: An International Journal for Philosophy in the Analytic Tradition

Publication Date

5-1-2012

Volume

159

Issue

1

First Page

139

Last Page

146

Keywords

Fictional objects, Non-existence, Principle of characterization, Graham priest, Noneism, Fiction, Possible worlds

Abstract

I advance an objection to Graham Priest’s account of fictional entities as nonexistent objects. According to Priest, fictional characters do not have, in our world, the properties they are represented as having; for example, the property of being a bank clerk is possessed by Joseph K. not in our world but in other worlds. Priest claims that, in this way, his theory can include an unrestricted principle of characterization for objects. Now, some representational properties attributed to fictional characters, a kind of fictional entities, involve a crucial reference to the world in which they are supposed to be instantiated. I argue that these representational properties are problematic for Priest’s theory and that he cannot accept an unrestricted version of the principle of characterization. Thus, while not refuting Priest’s theory, I show that it is no better off than other Meinongian theories.

DOI

10.1007/s11098-010-9694-x

Print ISSN

00318116

E-ISSN

15730883

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

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Recommended Citation

Sauchelli, A. (2012). Fictional objects, non-existence, and the principle of characterization. Philosophical Studies, 159(1), 139-146. doi: 10.1007/s11098-010-9694-x