Article first published online: 31 JAN 2007
Volume 2, Issue 2, pages 141–156, March 2007
How to Cite
Friend, S. (2007), Fictional Characters. Philosophy Compass, 2: 141–156. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2007.00059.x
- Issue published online: 31 JAN 2007
- Article first published online: 31 JAN 2007
- Philosophy Compass 2/2 (2007): 141–156, 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2007.00059.x
If there are no fictional characters, how do we explain thought and discourse apparently about them? If there are, what are they like? A growing number of philosophers claim that fictional characters are abstract objects akin to novels or plots. They argue that postulating characters provides the most straightforward explanation of our literary practices as well as a uniform account of discourse and thought about fiction. Anti-realists counter that postulation is neither necessary nor straightforward, and that the invocation of pretense provides a better account of the same phenomena. I outline and assess these competing theories.