The Nature of Fiction/al Utterances

  • 1 Professore Ordinario, University of Torino


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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