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Abstract

This paper presents an anti-realist account of fictional objects. Arguing for the involvement of non-veridical prepositional attitude ascriptions in the understanding of fiction, I maintain that there is no need to invoke Meinongian objects, possibilia or abstract objects for this purpose. In addition I argue against object dependent views (if there is no object, e.g., Sherlock Holmes, then there is no proposition expressed by “Sherlock Holmes lived in London”). I make a case for empty names playing a more significant role than that accorded on direct reference accounts of names. I close by noting points of similarity and of difference with Amie Thomasson and with Kendall Walton.