Fictional Names, Negative Existentials, and Fictional Situations

Eros Corazza


In a series of papers Corazza & Dokic (Corazza 2007, 2009; Corazza & Dokic, 2007, 2010, Dokic 2006) defended the view that the truth value of an utterance is relative to the situation vis-à-vis which it is evaluated. In the present essay I’ll show how this position, labeled “situated minimalism” (or more shortly “situationalism”) easily generalizes to deal with fictional discourse without having to commit ourselves to the existence of fictional characters, i.e. without assuming a realist position regarding fictional entities. In so doing, I’ll debunk some arguments that seem to favor a realist account and then show how negative existentials can be more easily dealt with within an irrealist framework.

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