Identity in Fiction


We’re very happy that Richard’s paper “Identity in Fiction” has been accepted for publication in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. Abstract below:

Anthony Everett (2005) argues that those who embrace the reality of fictional entities run into trouble when it comes to specifying criteria of character identity. More specifically, he argues that the realist must reject natural principles governing the identity and distinctness of fictional characters due to the existence of fictions which leave it indeterminate whether certain characters are identical and the existence of fictions which say inconsistent things about the identities of their characters. Everett’s critique has deservedly drawn much attention and a number of defensive moves have been made by (or on the behalf of) fictional realists. My goal in this paper is to move this debate on a further step. I have three goals: i) to clarify the importance of Everett’s discussion of identity criteria within the context of fictional realism, ii) to reassess Everett’s objections to realism in light of the resultant literature, and iii) to develop a novel strategy for responding to Everett’s concerns. On the approach to be developed, the problems emerge due to an indeterminacy inherent in the concept of a fictional character itself.

The final version of the paper will hopefully be online soon!