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The Nonexistent$
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Anthony Everett

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199674794

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199674794.001.0001

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(p.103) 5 Objections
The Nonexistent

Anthony Everett

Oxford University Press

Jason Stanley has offered a series of powerful objections to pretense-theoretic accounts of various forms of discourse. Some of Stanley’s objections may undermine pretense-theoretic accounts of some forms of discourse. But they do not undermine the pretense-theoretic account of fictional character discourse developed earlier, or the pretense-theoretic account of existential discourse suggested. In fact there are reasons to think the pretense-theoretic account developed earlier is correct. It provides an elegant account of what is going on in cases where we talk as-if there were fictional objects while, at the same time, denying there are such things. Moreover the functional role of the mental states expressed by fictional character discourse appears to pattern with that of imaginings and make-beliefs rather than with that of genuine beliefs.

Keywords:   pretense, systematicity, autism objection, phenomenology, overgeneration

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