Assertions in Fictions

An Indirect Speech Act Account

In: Grazer Philosophische Studien

The author of this paper contrasts the account he favors for how fictions can convey knowledge with Green’s views on the topic. On the author’s account, fictions can convey knowledge because fictional works make assertions and other acts such as conjectures, suppositions, or acts of putting forward contents for our consideration; and the mechanism through which they do it is that of speech act indirection, of which conversational implicatures are a particular case. There are two potential points of disagreement with Green in this proposal. First, it requires that assertions can be made indirectly. Second, it requires that verbal fiction-making doesn’t consist merely in “acts of speech”, but in sui generis speech acts.

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