Fictionalism in Metaphysics

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What fictionalist positions hope to draw from fiction itself is the idea that we can take a discourse seriously without invoking commitment to what it says. On the surface, fiction is a form of representation well-suited to the metaphysical aims often stated as motivations for fictionalism.

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But the nature of fictional representation is more contentious than it might first appear, and this has ramifications for fictionalism. Although our arguments will generalise in places, we focus on mental fictionalism — here understood as the view that we should adopt a fictionalist treatment of folk psychology, combining an endorsement of folk psychological discourse as valuable with a rejection of folk psychological discourse as a guide to the nature of the world.

Close attention to the nature of fiction reveals a number of issues which bear on mental fictionalism. We argue that there are problems with securing, in the case of folk psychology, the relationship between props, content and understanding that prop-oriented make-believe demands.


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In addition, by considering the relationship between fiction and metaphor, we identify a difficulty for those who might hope that an appeal to metaphor will facilitate withholding commitment from the ontology of folk psychology. Whilst attention to the nature of fiction creates obstacles for those sympathetic to mental fictionalism, it also suggests opportunities. Fictionalism is the view that a serious intellectual inquiry need not aim at truth. It came to prominence in philosophy in , when Hartry Field argued that mathematics does not have to be true to be good, and Bas van Fraassen argued that the aim of science is not truth but empirical adequacy.

Both suggested that the acceptance of a mathematical or scientific theory need not involve belief in its content. Thus the distinctive commitment of fictionalism is that acceptance in a given domain of inquiry need not be truth-normed, and that the acceptance of a sentence from the associated region of discourse need not involve belief in its content. In metaphysics fictionalism is now widely regarded as an option worthy of serious consideration.

The fictionalist paradigm.

This volume represents a major benchmark in the debate: it brings together an impressive international team of contributors, whose essays represent the state of the art in various areas of metaphysical controversy, relating to language, mathematics, modality, truth, belief, ontology, and morality. Ontological Disagreement in Metaphysics. Ontological Fictionalism in Metaphysics. Quantification and Ontology in Philosophy of Language.

Aristotelean Fictionalism and Eliminative Structuralism

Realism and Anti-Realism, Misc in Metaphysics. Scientific Fictionalism in General Philosophy of Science. Edit this record. Mark as duplicate.

Fictionalism in metaphysics

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Configure custom resolver. Chapters BETA. Metaphor and Prop Oriented Make-Believe.

Kendall Walton. Gabriele Contessa - - Mind Fictionalism in Metaphysics.

Towards a New Theory of Modal Fictionalism

Frederick Kroon - - Philosophy Compass 6 11 Christopher Jay - - Religious Studies 52 2 Buddhist Fictionalism. Fictionalism and the Attitudes. Chris John Daly - - Philosophical Studies 3 - Fictionalism in the Philosophy of Mathematics. Mark Colyvan - - In E. Craig ed. Andrea Sauchelli - - Philosophy East and West 66 4 Seahwa Kim - - Dissertation, Princeton University.