Title

Fictional realism and indeterminate identity

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2015

Abstract

Fictional realists hold that fictional characters are real entities. However, Anthony Everett (2005) notes that some fictions leave it indeterminate whether character A is identical to character B, while other fictions depict A as simultaneously identical and distinct from B. Everett argues that these fictions commit the realist to indeterminate and impossible identity relations among actual entities, and that as such realism is untenable. This paper defends fictional realism: for fictions depicting non-classical identity between A and B, the realist should hold that there are two salient fragments, one with a single character (named both 'A' and 'B') and the other with two (named 'A' and 'B', respectively). Truth according to the fiction depicting indeterminate identity is determined by supervaluating over truth according to those salient fragments. For fictions depicting impossible identity, truth is determined by subvaluating over truth according to those two salient fragments.

Publication Name

Journal of Philosophical Research

Volume Number

40

First Page

205

Last Page

225

DOI

10.5840/jpr2015111655

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