Critical Notice of Amie L. Thomasson, Fiction and Metaphysics [Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1999]

Varzi, Achille C.

This review of Thomasson's book Fiction and Metaphysics is written in the form of a dialogue between two characters: Pamela and Joseph. These characters discuss philosophers thoughts on fiction. Pamela mentions Meinongian theories of fiction and how they identify fictional characters with certain nonexistent individuals—the individuals correlated with all and only those attributes that the authors specify. But, according to Pamela, all these theories are wrong. Pamela claims that Thomasson's book is interesting and has a lot to offer on this subject. Most importantly, it doesn’t just try to show how fictional characters may find a place in some preconceived ontology. Thomasson’s study seems to be driven by an independent sense of what is required to understand ordinary talk regarding fiction, looking at the actual literary practices and see what sort of things
would most closely correspond to fictional characters.



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Philosophy and Phenomenological Research

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December 3, 2014