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The Seas of Language$
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Michael Dummett

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198236214

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198236212.001.0001

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Could There Be Unicorns ?

Could There Be Unicorns ?

Chapter:
(p.328) 14 Could There Be Unicorns?
Source:
The Seas of Language
Author(s):

Michael Dummett (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198236212.003.0014

Kripke argued that there might not have been unicorns: since unicorns are fictional species, they are necessarily fictional. There are three arguments aimed at showing the fictionality of unicorns, but all of them fail. There would be unicorns if there were a single species or genus of animals resembling the unicorns of pictures. This also serves as an instructive example of the failure of the accessibility relation between possible worlds to be both transitive and symmetrical.

Keywords:   accessibility relationfictional entities, Kripke, natural kinds, possible worlds, possible worlds semantics

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