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Journal: Horizon. Studies in Phenomenology (Vol.8, No. 2)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 676-706

Keywords : Saul Kripke; quantifier; predicate of existence; fiction; pretense; entity; reference; proposition.;

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Readers are invited to examine the translation of the lengthy paper “Vacuous Names and Fictional Entities” by Saul Aaron Kripke. In this work, the American philosopher and logician discusses the semantics of proper names. He severely criticizes the theories of reference based on Russell and Frege speculations. The focus of his attention is the predicate of existence. Kripke is challenged by the theories arguing that existence either is not a real predicate or is not a predicate at all. He shows that a predicate of existence can be truly trivial but only in a limited manifold of cases. He characterizes as a modal fallacy the impossibility to pass the limits of this narrow manifold where the doctrine of triviality of the predicate is being mistakenly universalized. To vindicate his own view, he appeals the sphere of fiction and myth, to the domain of legends and pretense. Kripke discusses counterfactual statements and propositions referring topossible worlds in relation to objects of fiction and fantasy. The core of his argumentation is the ontology of pretense describing particular kind of abstract entities. The heroes of his philosophical reflections are Sherlock Holmes and Hamlet, Moses and Jabberwocky, unicorns and bandersnatches. Kripke asks when such creatures actually exist, and how propositions about them change their truth-value in dependence on a source, a context and modality. Vivid and inventive examples help the author to illustrate a set of problems perplexing for contemporary thinkers and offer his own original solutions.

Last modified: 2020-01-30 05:43:39