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Modal Fictionalism and Compositionality

Josh Dever
Philosophical Studies: An International Journal for Philosophy in the Analytic Tradition
Vol. 114, No. 3 (Jun., 2003), pp. 223-251
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4321383
Page Count: 29
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Modal Fictionalism and Compositionality
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Abstract

Modal fictionalists propose to defuse the unwanted ontological commitments of modal realism by treating modal realism as a fictional story, and modal assertions as assertions, prefixed by a fictionalist operator, that something is true in that story. However, consideration of conditionals with modal antecedents raises the problem of embedding, which shows that the simple prefixing strategy cannot succeed. A compositional version of the fictionalist strategy is developed and critiqued, and some general semantic morals are drawn from the failures of both strategies.

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