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Spotty Scope and Our Relation to Fictions

Button, T; (2012) Spotty Scope and Our Relation to Fictions. Noûs , 46 (2) pp. 243-258. 10.1111/j.1468-0068.2010.00785.x. Green open access

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Abstract

Whatever the attractions of Tolkein's world, irrealists about fictions do not believe literally that Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit. Instead, irrealists believe that, according to The Lord of the Rings {Bilbo is a hobbit}. But when irrealists want to say something like “I am taller than Bilbo”, there is nowhere good for them to insert the operator “according to The Lord of the Rings”. This is an instance of the operator problem. In this paper, I outline and criticise Sainsbury's (2006) spotty scope approach to the operator problem. Sainsbury treats the problem as syntactic, but the problem is ultimately metaphysical.

Type: Article
Title: Spotty Scope and Our Relation to Fictions
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0068.2010.00785.x
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0068.2010.00785.x
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10085882
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