Month: September 2023

Meeting 10/3: Ali Aenehzodaee

Ali Aenehzodaee (visiting graduate student from Ohio State University) will present work of his own. (In person)

Title: “A Predicativist Approach to Fictional Names”.


Philosophers of language tend to treat fictional names no differently than other putatively empty names such as those of empty scientific posits. Focusing¬†on reference failure as the only or most salient feature of theoretical interest, it’s no wonder fictional names and other empty names are often lumped together. My aim in this talk is to examine linguistic criteria for distinguishing fictional names from other names in general and other empty names in particular. I will discuss certain predicative applications of fictional names generally unavailable to nonfictional (full or empty) names, for example as parts of DPs denoting mind-dependent objects of creative expression, such as “Peter Jackson’s Aragorn”. In addition to helping differentiate the fictional/nonfictional and the empty/full, these uses help reveal that fictional names are not empty singular terms, but instead have the underlying semantic function of predicates, or so I will argue.¬†