Chapter

Could There Be Unicorns?

Michael Dummett

in The Seas of Language

Published in print February 1996 | ISBN: 9780198236214
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597350 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198236212.003.0014
Could There Be Unicorns?

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Kripke argued that there might not have been unicorns: since unicorns are fictional species, they are necessarily fictional. There are three arguments aimed at showing the fictionality of unicorns, but all of them fail. There would be unicorns if there were a single species or genus of animals resembling the unicorns of pictures. This also serves as an instructive example of the failure of the accessibility relation between possible worlds to be both transitive and symmetrical.

Keywords: accessibility relationfictional entities; Kripke; natural kinds; possible worlds; possible worlds semantics

Chapter.  10947 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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