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Publication details for Dr Sara L. UckelmanUckelman, Sara L. & Chan, Phoebe (2016). Against Truth-Conditional Theories of Meaning: Three Lessons from the Language(s) of Fiction. Res Philosophica 2(93): 1-19.
- Publication type: Journal Article
- ISSN/ISBN: 2168-9105, 2168-9113
- DOI: 10.11612/resphil.2016.2.93.4
- Further publication details on publisher web site
- Durham Research Online (DRO) - may include full text
Author(s) from Durham
Fictional discourse and fictional languages provide useful test cases for theories of meaning. In this paper, we argue against truth-conditional accounts of meaning on the basis of problems posed by language(s) of fiction. It is well-known how fictional discourse—discourse about nonexistent objects—poses a problem for truth-conditional theories of meaning. Less well-considered, however, are the problems posed by fictional languages, which can be created to either be meaningful or not to be meaningful; both of these ultimately also provide problems for a truthconditional account of meaning, because it cannot account for the ways in which we use and evaluate such fictional languages. Instead, a pragmatic or use-based account provides a better explanation for some of the phenomena we discuss.