ADETAYO OLUDARE ALADE
- Lecturer I
- Obafemi Awolowo University
A Defence of Realism on the Ontological Foundation for Fictional Reference
The debate on the existence of fictional entities has a long history in Metaphysics and Philosophy of Language. On one hand, fictional antirealists align with commonsense intuitions to argue that fictional entities do not exist because their existence is not necessary to account for the truth of propositions in fictional discourse. On another hand, fictional realists maintain that fictional entities exist because realist semantics is required to account for the truth of propositions in fictional discourse. Most of the arguments proposed in this debate have focused on deriving ontological commitments from the meaningfulness of language, thus presupposing a wrong relation between language and ontology. This study argues for a dual role of language in ontology. The study also argues for a plausible metaphysical approach to the question of existence, thus proposing a criterion for existence which shows that fictional entities exist as independent abstract entities.
Fictional Realism and the Didactic Nature of Yoruba Folktales
Among the Yoruba people, fictional entities are introduced as characters in folktales. Many African scholars have discussed the importance of folktales in the preservation and transmission of cultural values and virtues without paying attention to the implications of the commonsense intuition that fictional entities do not exist. This commonsense intuition has negative implications for the truth conveyed by propositions in the folktales. It has been argued that the existence of fictional entities is required to account for the truth of propositions in fictional discourse. This study argues to defend the position that fictional entities exist and that adopting this realist position helps to justify the truths contained in Yoruba folktales.