Volume 11, 1980
Problems concerning identity in possible worlds and the view that proper names are rigid designators pose no threat to the doctrine that names of fictional characters (fictional names) are referential. Some philosophers, notably Saul Kripke and David Kaplan, have held otherwise; but a close examination of their arguments discovers fatal flaws in them. Furthermore, the most readily available proposals for the alternative functions of fictional names — that is, proposals in which fictional names are not referential — are open to objections of a principled kind. This raises serious doubts that any such alternative could work.