254 research outputs found

    (Mock-)Thinking about the Same

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    In this paper, I want to address once more the venerable problem of intentional identity, the problem of how different thoughts can be about the same thing even if this thing does not exist. First, I will try to show that antirealist approaches to this problem are doomed to fail. For they ultimately share a problematic assumption, namely that thinking about something involves identifying it. Second, I will claim that once one rejects this assumption and holds instead that thoughts are constituted either by what they are about, their intentional objects, or by what determines their proposition-like intentional contents, one can address the problem of intentional identity in a different way. One can indeed provide a new solution to it that basically relies on two factors: a) what sort of metaphysical nature intentional objects effectively possess, once they are conceived as schematic objects Ă  la Crane (2001, 2013); b) whether such objects really belong to the overall ontological inventory of what there is. According to this solution, two thoughts are about the same nonexistent intentional object iff i) that object satisfies the identity criterion for objects of that metaphysical kind and ii) objects of that kind belong to the overall ontological inventory of what there is, independently of whether they exist (in a suitable first-order sense of existence). As such, this solution is neither realist nor antirealist: only if condition ii) is satisfied, different thoughts can be about the same nonexistent intentionale; otherwise, they are simply constituted by the same intentional content (provided that this content is not equated with that intentionale). Third, armed with this solution, I will hold that one can find a suitable treatment of the specific and related problem of whether different people may mock-think about the same thing, even if there really is no such thing. Finally, I will try to show that this treatment can be also applied to the case in which different thoughts are, according to phenomenology, about the same intentionale and yet this intentionale is of a kind such that there really are no things of that kind. For in this case, such thoughts are about the same intentionale only fictionally

    Fiction and Indexinames [Abstract]

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    Ontological Syncretistic Noneism

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    In this paper I want to claim, first, that despite close similarities, noneism (as developed in both Routley 1980 and Priest 20162) and Crane’s (2013) psychological reductionism are different ontological doctrines. For unlike the latter, the former is ontologically committed to objects that are nonentities. Once one splits ontological from existential commitment, this claim, I guess, is rather uncontroversial. Second, however, I want to claim something more controversial; namely, that this ontological interpretation of noneism naturally makes noneism be nonstandardly read as a form of allism, to be however appropriately distinguished from Quinean allism in terms of the different scope of the overall ontological domain on which the only particular/existential quantifier that there is ranges. This may orient a noneist towards a syncretistic view of existence, according to which, appearances notwithstanding, existence as a whole is captured both by means of second-order and by means of first-order related notions

    The Nothingness of (the) Nothing

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    In recent years, in the analytic philosophical community various people have focused their attention again on (the) Nothing, in order to say that, pace Carnap (1932/1959) and pro Heidegger (1929/1977), there are occurrences of the corresponding phrase “(the) Nothing” in which it works as a singular term, not as a quantified expression (e.g. Casati‐Fujikawa 2015, 2019, Costantini 2020, Jacquette 2013, 2015, Oliver‐Smiley 2013, Priest 2014a,b, Simionato 2017, Voltolini 2015). First of all, I will stress again that, if those occurrences are referentially successful, as most of the previous people proposes, they denote an object that is paradoxical. For it is inconsistent because of its contradictory behavior with respect to a certain universal first‐order property, what I call the genuine existential property, i.e., Russell’s (1903) being. After reviewing and assessing such proposals, I will moreover try to show why the antecedent of the above conditional is false. In a nutshell, there cannot, even impossibly, be such a thing as (the) Nothing, not because this would make the overall totality of beings contradictory as well (by both including and not including (the) Nothing), but because (as Twardowski 1892/1977 somehow intuited) it would prevent that totality from being determined at all and (pace Costantini 2020) once for all. Finally, therefore, the only things that there legitimately are à propos of (the) Nothing are significant propositions, depending on the fact that the phrase “(the) Nothing” yields a contextually meaningful contribution to them qua Russellean definite description, even though it does not denote at all. Possibly, this position is similar to what Severino (1957, 2013) maintained on this subject.In recent years, in the analytic philosophical community various people have focused their attention again on (the) Nothing, in order to say that, pace Carnap (1932/1959) and pro Heidegger (1929/1977), there are occurrences of the corresponding phrase “(the) Nothing” in which it works as a singular term, not as a quantified expression (e.g. Casati‐Fujikawa 2015, 2019, Costantini 2020, Jacquette 2013, 2015, Oliver‐Smiley 2013, Priest 2014a,b, Simionato 2017, Voltolini 2015). First of all, I will stress again that, if those occurrences are referentially successful, as most of the previous people proposes, they denote an object that is paradoxical. For it is inconsistent because of its contradictory behavior with respect to a certain universal first‐order property, what I call the genuine existential property, i.e., Russell’s (1903) being. After reviewing and assessing such proposals, I will moreover try to show why the antecedent of the above conditional is false. In a nutshell, there cannot, even impossibly, be such a thing as (the) Nothing, not because this would make the overall totality of beings contradictory as well (by both including and not including (the) Nothing), but because (as Twardowski 1892/1977 somehow intuited) it would prevent that totality from being determined at all and (pace Costantini 2020) once for all. Finally, therefore, the only things that there legitimately are à propos of (the) Nothing are significant propositions, depending on the fact that the phrase “(the) Nothing” yields a contextually meaningful contribution to them qua Russellean definite description, even though it does not denote at all. Possibly, this position is similar to what Severino (1957, 2013) maintained on this subject

    The Nature of Fiction/al Utterances

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    In this paper, first of all, I want to try a new defense of the utterance approach as to the relationship between fictional and nonfictional works on the one hand and between fictional and nonfictional utterances on the other hand, notably the idea that the distinction between fictional and nonfictional works is derivative on the distinction between fictional and nonfictional utterances of the sentences that constitute a text. Moreover, I want to account for the second distinction in minimally contextualist semantic terms. Finally, I want to hold that what makes a fictional utterance, hence a fictional work, properly fictional is the contextually pre-semantic fact that its utterer entertains an act of make-believe, where such an act is accounted for in metarepresentational terms. This ultimately means that the fiction/nonfiction distinction is not clarified in terms of the fictional works/nonfictional works distinction, for things rather go the other way around
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