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Fiction, Creation and Fictionality : An Overview

Abstract : The philosophical reflection on non-existence is an issue that has been tackled at the very start of philosophy and constitutes since the publication in 1905 of Russell's " On Denoting " one of the most thorny and heated debates in analytic philosophy. However the fierce debates on the semantics of proper names and definite descriptions which took off after the publication of Strawson's 'On Referring' in 1950 did not trigger a systematic study of the semantics of fiction. In fact, the systematic development of a link that articulates the approaches to fiction of logic; philosophy and literature had to wait until the work of John Woods, who published in 1974 the book Logic of Fiction: : A Philosophical Sounding of Deviant Logic. One of the most exciting challenges of Woods' book relates to the interaction between the internalist or inside-the-story (mainly pragmatist) and externalist or outside-the-story (mainly semantic) points of view. For that purpose Woods formulated as first a fictionality operator to be read as " according to the story … " in relation to the logical scope of which issues on internalism and externalism could be studied. The discussions on fiction that followed Woods' book not only seem not to fade away but even give rise to new and vigorous research impulses. Relevant fact for our paper is that in the phenomenological tradition too, the study of fiction has a central role to play. Indeed, one of the most controversial issues in intentionality is the problem of the existence-independence; i.e. the purported fact that intentional acts need not be directed at any existent object. Influenced by the work of the prominent student of Husserl, Roman Ingarden (1893-1970), Amie Thomasson develops the phenomenological concept of ontological dependence in order to explain how we can perform inter-and transfictional-reference-for example in the context of literary interpretation. The main claim of this paper is that a bi-dimensional multimodal reconstruction of Thomasson's-Ingarden's theory on fictional characters which takes seriously the fact that fictions are creations opens the door to the articulation between the internalist and the externalist approaches. We will motivate some changes on the artifactual approach – including an appropriate semantics for the fictionality operator that, we hope, will awaken the interest of theoreticians of literature. The paper could be also seen as an overview of how different concepts of intentionality might yield different formal semantics for fictionality. We will provide a dialogical framework that is a modal extension of a certain proof system developed by Matthieu Fontaine and Juan Redmond. The dialogical framework develops the inferential counterpart to the the bi-dimensional semantics introduced by Rahman and Tulenheimo in arecent paper.
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Matthieu Fontaine, Shahid Rahman. Fiction, Creation and Fictionality : An Overview. Methodos : savoirs et textes, Savoirs textes langage - UMR 8163, 2010, ⟨10.4000/methodos.2343⟩. ⟨halshs-01227945⟩



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