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Empty Names, Fiction and the Puzzles of Non-Existence

Philosophers and theorists have long been puzzled by humans’ ability to talk about things that do not exist, or to talk about things that they think exist but, in fact, do not. Empty Names, Fiction, and the Puzzles of Non-Existence is a collection of 13 new works concerning the semantic and metaphysical issues arising from empty names, non-existence, and the nature of fiction. The contributors include some of the most important researchers working in these fields. Some of the papers develop and defend new positions on these matters, while others offer important new perspectives and criticisms of the existing approaches. The volume contains a comprehensive introductory essay by the editors, which provides a survey of the philosophical issues concerning empty names, the various responses to these issues, and the literature on the subject to date.

352 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2000

Lecture Notes

Philosophy: General Philosophy, Logic and Philosophy of Language

Table of Contents

Much Ado About Nothing - Anthony Everett and Thoman Hofweber
I: Empty Names
1. Pleonastic Fregeanism and Empty Names - Stephen Schiffer
2. Emptiness without Compromise - Kenneth A. Taylor
3. Referentialism and Empty Names - Anthony Everett
4. On Myth - Avrom Faderman
II: Pretense
5. Existence as Metaphor? - Kendall Walton
6. Negative Existentials - Fred Kroon
7. Pretense Theory and Abstract Object Theory - Edward N. Zalta
8. Making up Stories - Harry Deutsch
9. Real People in Unreal Contexts - Stacie Friend
10. Semantic Pretense - Mark Richard
III: Ontology
11. Quantification and Fictional Discourse - Peter van Inwagen
12. Quantification and Non-Existent Objects - Thomas Hofweber
13. A Paradox of Existence - Stephen Yablo

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