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Fiction and Fictionalism





ISBN 9780415774352
Published September 17, 2009 by Routledge
264 Pages

 
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Book Description

Are fictional characters such as Sherlock Holmes real? What can fiction tell us about the nature of truth and reality? In this excellent introduction to the problem of fictionalism R. M. Sainsbury covers the following key topics:

  • what is fiction?
  • realism about fictional objects, including the arguments that fictional objects are real but non-existent; real but non-factual; real but non-concrete
  • the relationship between fictional characters and non-actual worlds
  • fictional entities as abstract artefacts
  • fiction and intentionality and the problem of irrealism
  • fictionalism about possible worlds
  • moral fictionalism.

R. M. Sainsbury makes extensive use of examples from fiction, such as Sherlock Holmes, Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary and examines the work of philosophers who have made significant contributions to the topic, including Meinong, David Lewis, and Bas Van Fraassen. Additional features include chapter summaries, annotated further reading and a glossary of technical terms, making Fiction and Fictionalism ideal for those coming to the issue for the first time.

Table of Contents

Introduction  1. What is fiction?  2. Realism about fictional objects  3. Fictional objects are nonexistents  4. Worlds and truth: fictional worlds, possible worlds  5. Fictional entities are abstract artifacts  6. Irrealism: fiction and intentionality  7. Some fictionalists  8. Fictionalism about possible worlds  9. Moral fictionalism  10. Retrospect  Glossary  Notes  Bibliography  Index

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Reviews

'This is a great book. In it Mark Sainsbury provides a lucid and interesting discussion of the nature of fiction, the status of fictional objects, and fictionalism in general, offering an excellent overview of these subjects and giving a barrage of interesting arguments for his own views along the way. The book is also timely. There has been a recent surge of interest in all three of these issues and I know of no other book that comes close to providing such a good introduction to, and discussion of, these topics.' - Analysis

'…an impressive book. In a clear, concise and engaging style, Sainsbury manages to explain fairly difficult issues in an accessible way. Throughout the arguments are of high quality. Sainsbury manages both to provide good overviews of the relevant literature, and to present interesting arguments on pretty much every page. The book will be useful for students both at the advanced undergraduate level and at the graduate level, and for researchers in metaphysics and philosophy of language.' - Matti Eklund, Cornell University

'This is a great book. In it, Mark Sainsbury provides a lucid and interesting discussion of the nature of fiction, the status of fictional objects, and fictionalism in general, offering an excellent overview of these subjects and giving a barrage of interesting arguments for his own views along the way. The book is also timely. There has been a recent surge of interest in all three of these issues and I know of no other book that comes close to providing such a good introduction to, and discussion of, these topics.' - Anthony Everett, University of Bristol, UK