Philosophy and Phenomenological Research

Volume 71, Issue 3, November 2005

Matti Eklund
Pages 557-579

Fiction, Indifference, and Ontology

In this paper I outline an alternative to hermeneutic fictionalism, an alternative I call indifferentism, with the same advantages as hermeneutic fictionalism with respect to ontological issues but avoiding some of the problems that face fictionalism. The difference between indifferentism and fictionalism is this. The fictionalist about ordinary utterances of a sentence S holds, with more orthodox views, that the speaker in some sense commits herself to the truth of S. It is only that for the fictionalist this is truth in the relevant fiction. According to the indifferentist, by contrast, we are simply non-committal—or indifferent—with respect to some aspects of what is literally said in our assertive utterances (specifically, with respect to the ontologically committing aspects).

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