SOPhiA 2017

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

From Fictional Characters to Possible Worlds
(Metaphysics and Ontology, English)

The aim of my presentation is to find connections between the different contemporary theories of analytic philosophy of language and metaphysics. My main thesis is that the theory of propositions along with the direct reference theory (DR) is incompatible with the possible world fictionalism. I divide my presentation into 4 sections.
In section 1, I introduce the main presumptions and examine the problem of the negative existential statements, concluding that empty names raise a serious problem for the theory of propositions and DR. To solve the problem, I assume that every name has a reference, even the fictional names.
In section 2, I ask the question: if fictional names have references, what are these objects? I present three plausible options, the Platonism, the non-actualism, and the abstract artefact theory. The arguments show that the best option is to consider the fictional entities as abstract artefacts.
In section 3, I introduce the possible world fictionalism, which is supposed to be an antirealist option. According to the possible world fictionalism, the theory of possible worlds, and the possible worlds themselves in the theory are fictions, which do not exist. But this statement contradicts the claims presented in section 1 and 2: if someone accepts the theory of propositions and the DR, then she has to consider the fictions and fictional characters as existing abstract artefacts. So, the possible world fictionalist should choose other -- less plausible -- semantical theories, or she should accept that the fiction of genuine realism and the possible worlds in it are actually existing entities.
In section 4 I offer a realist theory of possible world fictionalism. One pillar of my conception is Rudolf Carnap's explication method, and the other is to base the semantics of the possible world speech on David Lewis 1986. My theory is not fully elaborated yet, but it shows that there is a good outlook for a realist possible world fictionalism, which is compatible with the theory of propositions and the direct reference theory.

Chair: Tomi Francis
Time: 11:10-11:40, 15 September 2017 (Friday)
Location: SR 1.003

Áron Dombrovszki 
(Eötvös Loránd University, Department of Logic, Hungary)

I got my Liberal Arts BA degree at University of Pécs, where I was a member of Kerényi Károly Special College for Advanced Students. Currently, I'm a master's student in the Logic and Theory of Science program at Eötvös Loránd University, Department of Logic. I also work in a research group on philosophy of language, investigating the semantics of figurative speech. My main field of interest is the connection among semantic theories and their metaphysical upshot, especially in Kripke's philosophy. My current project in this area is to construct an analogue between the analysis of fictionalist discourse and the fictionalist theory towards modality.

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