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(2018) Truth in fiction, Dordrecht, Springer.

Models and formal representations

John Woods

pp. 193-218

All logicians of fiction, and several non-logicians too, take it as a given that logic-based semantics of literary discourse would be seriously incomplete if it omitted to explain how reference, truth and inference operate in such contexts. Logicians, both mathematical and philosophical, have built up a large inventory of approaches and methods for the study of these same things with respect to discourse in general. The dominance of these methods, as well as their applicational flexibility, makes a strong class="EmphasisTypeItalic ">prima facie case for their utility in the examination of reference, truth, and inference in fiction. From page one of this book, I have resisted the suggestion that the prima facie case is strong enough to defy resistance, and throughout the book reasons for resistance have been piling up, some of which I think are deeply hurtful to the prima facie case. Even so, as we have seen, my preferred alternatives lack the backing of large literatures and the research results that large literatures produce. A page ago I said that perhaps the only realistic escape from the tyranny of so large a majority, might be to poke it here and there with enough strategic savvy to get the elaborate apparatus of the formal semantics paradigm to falter under its own heavy weight. I meant this metaphorically. I meant that perhaps we will be able to see that the adaptational costs of model theory are too high for fiction, whatever the good that may be in it for other purposes.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-72658-8_10

Full citation:

Woods, J. (2018). Models and formal representations, in Truth in fiction, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 193-218.

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