Fictional Truth, Fictional Names: A Lewisian Approach

Main Article Content

Sam Elliott


The account of fictional truth proposed by David Lewis in his seminal 1978 paper “Truth in Fiction” remains of central importance to much contemporary discussion of this issue --- namely, how we should analyse what is, so to speak, ‘true in a fiction’. Despite this, Lewis says relatively little about fictional names as such, nor have Lewis’s views on fictional names received much scholarly attention --- surprising, given the extent to which the issues of fictional truth and fictional names overlap. In this paper I argue that Lewis’s account of fictional truth forces us to adopt an account of fictional names as non-rigid designators, whose reference is fixed satisfactionally at a given world. However, as such, I argue that Lewis’s account is vulnerable to challenges analogous to Kripke’s criticisms of classical descriptivism: namely, that this account is seemingly incompatible with intuitively coherent patterns of ‘counter-fictional’ reasoning.

Article Details