Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2445/106426
Title: Fictional names and fictional discourse
Author: Panizza, Chiara
Director: García-Carpintero, Manuel
Macià, Josep
Keywords: Semàntica (Filosofia)
Cognitivisme
Referència (Filosofia)
Semantics (Philosophy)
Cognitivism
Reference (Philosophy)
Issue Date: 12-Jan-2017
Publisher: Universitat de Barcelona
Abstract: [eng] In this dissertation I present a critical study of fiction, focusing on the semantics of fictional names and fictional discourse. I am concerned with the issue of whether fictional names need to refer, and also with the related issue of whether fictional characters need to exist, in order to best account for our linguistic practices involving fictional names. Fictional names like ‘Sherlock Holmes’, ‘Anna Karenina’, ‘Emma Woodhouse’ and ‘Don Quixote of La Mancha’ ordinarily occur in different contexts of discourse, in which we think and talk about fictional characters in ways that show that our pre-theoretical intuitions regarding the use of fictional names often tend in opposite directions. Given the conflicting intuitions about our linguistic practices when fictional names are involved, theories of fiction have ended up giving away some intuitions in order to favor others. In the contemporary philosophical debate about fiction, there are two main streams of theories of fiction: irrealist theories that state the lack of reference of fictional names, and realist theories that state that fictional names refer to fictional characters. If we assume that fictional names do not refer to fictional characters, as irrealists do, then semantic questions arise regarding how best to make sense of the apparent phenomena of reference and truth in fictional discourse. If, on the other hand, we assume that fictional names refer to fictional characters, as realists do, then semantic questions arise concerning the contexts of discourse in which there is reference and truth about fictional characters, together with metaphysical questions about the nature of those characters. This dissertation consists of six chapters. After presenting the data and desiderata for my research in Chapter 1, in Chapter 2 I address what I consider to be two of the most influential irrealist proposals, Kendall L. Walton’s (1990) and Mark Sainsbury’s (2005 and 2009). Both proposals make sense of fictional names and fictional discourse without invoking fictional entities. In Chapters 3, 4 and 5 I address three main realist theories of fiction, according to which fictional names refer to fictional characters: Meinongianism, Possibilism and Creationism. Even if the three theories endorse the ontological claim that there are fictional entities, they disagree about the metaphysical nature of such entities. After arguing for pros and contras with respect to the semantic account of fictional names and discourse put forward by any such realist view, I endorse the realist stance known as creationism. The label ‘creationism’ is used in philosophical jargon to denote a family of theories that hold the metaphysical thesis that fictional characters exist as artefacts, really created by authors in making works of fiction, and so really existing; they are not concrete individuals (they are not real people, places, animals, or whatever) as they do not have a spatio- temporal location – they are abstract. In chapter 6 I put forward arguments in favor of creationism that are not broadly metaphysical in nature, but are instead founded in our understanding of storytelling practices and fictional discourse. My research focuses on the issues of how and when we refer (mentally and linguistically) to fictional characters, assuming that they are abstract created artefacts. In the view I defend in this dissertation, fictional names – as much as ordinary non-fictional names – play two crucial roles, one semantic and the other cognitive: on the one hand, they provide a particular individual as their semantic contribution to the meaning of the sentences in which they appear; on the other hand, they are triggers of significance for our cognitive minds. Fictional names are rated as directly referring expressions, leading to singular thoughts and de re pretendings about fictional characters. This view on fictional names accounts for the object-directedness of thoughts and discourse about fictional characters.
[spa] El punto de partida de esta disertación es un análisis semántico de los enunciados que contienen nombres de ficción, como ‘Sherlock Holmes es un brillante detective’, ‘Sherlock Holmes no existe’ o ‘Sherlock Holmes es un personaje de ficción’. El problema semántico fundamental que postulan dichos enunciados podría sintetizarse de la siguiente manera: ¿cómo es posible explicar la intuición de que tales enunciados dan lugar a usos lingüísticos significativos e, incluso, verdaderos, aun cuando parezca que uno no está hablando acerca de nada o nadie real? Esta disertación consta de seis capítulos. Después de presentar los datos y los objetivos de mi investigación en el Capítulo 1, en el Capítulo 2 analizo las que considero ser dos de las propuestas irrealista más influyentes, la de Kendall L. Walton (1990) y la de Mark Sainsbury (2005 y 2009), que ofrecen un análisis de los nombres de ficción, y a la vez de los enunciados en los que aparecen, sin invocar entidades ficticias. Posteriormente, analizo las tres principales teorías realistas sobre la ficción, es decir el Meinongianismo, el Posibilismo y el Creacionismo. Si bien las tres teorías comparten la asunción ontológica de que sí hay entidades ficticias, discrepan no obstante acerca de la naturaleza metafísica de tales entidades. Los capítulos 3, 4 y 5 están dedicados a un análisis detallado de los pros y los contras de cada una de estas teorías realistas, con respecto al análisis semántico de los nombres de ficción y de los enunciados en los que aparecen. Finalmente, en el Capitulo 6 asumo la teoría ontológica y metafísica conocida como creacionismo, según la cual los personajes de ficción existen en la realidad como artefactos creados por la actividad artística de los autores. En este último capitulo, presento varios argumentos a favor del creacionismo que no son de carácter metafísico, sino más bien de carácter semántico y cognitivo. Desde un punto de vista semántico, defiendo la tesis de que los nombres de ficción son términos singulares que refieren a objetos ficticios, y que los enunciados en los que aparecen expresan proposiciones singulares, constituidas en parte por tales objetos ficticios. El análisis semántico se complementa con el análisis cognitivo de los nombres de ficción, y de los mecanismos que subyacen a los usos de dichos nombres.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2445/106426
Appears in Collections:Tesis Doctorals - Departament - Filosofia

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