Fictional names: a critical study of some theories not committed to the existence of fictional entities
Napolano, Angelo (2013) Fictional names: a critical study of some theories not committed to the existence of fictional entities. MPhil thesis, University of Nottingham.
Fictional names such as Sherlock Holmes, Tom Sawyer or Superman originate in fiction. We also employ them in ordinary conversations. However, when we ask what these terms refer to and what speakers think when they employ them, a host of problems arise. Whilst an anti-realist perspective will assimilate them to the broader category of empty-names; a realistic perspective, articulable in different ways, argues for the existence of fictional entities as their referents. Each stance faces puzzles which are difficult to resolve.
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