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Volume 47 • Number 3

July 2010



Bad Examples?

by Benjamin Schnieder

By fictional realism let us understand the doctrine that there are fictional entities, in the same sense of "there are" in which—philosophical worries set aside—there are people, planets, and prime numbers. The standard argument for fictional realism runs as follows. Consider the following two sentences:

(1) Some characters in nineteenth-century novels are presented with a greater wealth of physical detail than are some characters in twentieth-century novels.

(2) Some fictional detectives are more famous than any living detective.
Both sentences are true by ordinary standards. Moreover, they involve quantification over fictional entities which cannot be paraphrased away in an easy and intuitive manner.

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ISSN: 2152-1123