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Franzén, Nils
Publications (10 of 12) Show all publications
Franzén, N. (2024). Implicating fictional truth. Philosophical Studies, 181(1), 299-317
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Implicating fictional truth
2024 (English)In: Philosophical Studies, ISSN 0031-8116, E-ISSN 1573-0883, Vol. 181, no 1, p. 299-317Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Some things that we take to be the case in a fictional work are never made explicit by the work itself. For instance, we assume that Sherlock Holmes does not have a third nostril, that he wears underpants and that he has never solved a case with a purple gnome, even though neither of these things is ever mentioned in the narration. This article argues that examples like these can be accounted for through the same content-enriching reasoning that we employ when confronted with non-fictional discourse, with the important difference that fictional discourse essentially involves pretence. Fictional discourse works in much the same way as non-fictional discourse, and what is conveyed without being stated can accordingly be explained through familiar pragmatic mechanisms. It is argued that this account carries some distinct advantages over competing views.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2024
Keywords
David lewis, Fictionality, Kathleen stock, Stacie friend, The reality principle, Truth in fiction
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-218535 (URN)10.1007/s11098-023-02087-2 (DOI)2-s2.0-85180243916 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2019-02905
Available from: 2023-12-20 Created: 2023-12-20 Last updated: 2024-05-02Bibliographically approved
Franzén, N. (2024). The presumption of realism. Philosophical Studies
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The presumption of realism
2024 (English)In: Philosophical Studies, ISSN 0031-8116, E-ISSN 1573-0883Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Within contemporary metaethics, it is widely held that there is a “presumption of realism” in moral thought and discourse. Anti-realist views, like error theory and expressivism, may have certain theoretical considerations speaking in their favor, but our pretheoretical stance with respect to morality clearly favors objectivist metaethical views. This article argues against this widely held view. It does so by drawing from recent discussions about so-called “subjective attitude verbs” in linguistics and philosophy of language. Unlike pretheoretically objective predicates (e.g., “is made of wood”, “is 185 cm tall”), moral predicates embed felicitously under subjective attitude verbs like the English “find”. Moreover, it is argued that the widespread notion that moral discourse bears all the marks of fact-stating discourse is rooted in a blinkered focus on examples from English. Cross-linguistic considerations suggest that subjective attitude verbs are actually the default terms by which we ascribe moral views to people. Impressions to the contrary in English have to do with some unfortunate quirks of the term “think”.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2024
Keywords
Moral realism, Moral antirealism, expressivism, subjective attitude verbs
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-223969 (URN)10.1007/s11098-024-02140-8 (DOI)001209547700008 ()2-s2.0-85191740879 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2019-02905
Available from: 2024-05-03 Created: 2024-05-03 Last updated: 2024-05-13
Franzén, N. & Felka, K. (2024). Thick terms and secondary contents. In: Andreas Stokke (Ed.), Festschrift for Matti Eklund: . Uppsala: Uppsala universitet
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Thick terms and secondary contents
2024 (English)In: Festschrift for Matti Eklund / [ed] Andreas Stokke, Uppsala: Uppsala universitet , 2024Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Uppsala universitet, 2024
Keywords
Thick concepts, Secondary content, Find, Matti Eklund
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-221476 (URN)978-91-506-3035-0 (ISBN)
Available from: 2024-02-24 Created: 2024-02-24 Last updated: 2024-02-26Bibliographically approved
Soria-Ruiz, A. & Franzén, N. (2023). Moral and moorean incoherencies. Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy, 10, Article ID 35.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Moral and moorean incoherencies
2023 (English)In: Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy, E-ISSN 2330-4014, Vol. 10, article id 35Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

It has been argued that moral assertions involve the possession, on the part of the speaker, of appropriate non-cognitive attitudes. Thus, uttering ‘murder is wrong’ invites an inference that the speaker disapproves of murder. In this paper, we present the result of 4 empirical studies concerning this phenomenon. We assess the acceptability of constructions in which that inference is explicitly canceled, such as ‘murder is wrong but I don’t disapprove of it’; and we compare them to similar constructions involving ‘think’ instead of ‘disapprove’—that is, Moore paradoxes (‘murder is wrong but I don’t think that it is wrong’). Our results indicate that the former type of constructions are largely infelicitous, although not as infelicitous as their Moorean counterparts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
University of Michigan Press, 2023
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-217365 (URN)10.3998/ergo.4665 (DOI)
Funder
EU, Horizon 2020Swedish Research Council, 2019-02905
Available from: 2023-11-30 Created: 2023-11-30 Last updated: 2023-12-01Bibliographically approved
Franzén, N. (2023). Nils Franzén om Vårt enda liv: Sekulär tro och andlig frihet av Martin Hägglund [Review]. Filosofisk Tidskrift, 44(3), 54-59
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Nils Franzén om Vårt enda liv: Sekulär tro och andlig frihet av Martin Hägglund
2023 (Swedish)In: Filosofisk Tidskrift, ISSN 0348-7482, Vol. 44, no 3, p. 54-59Article, book review (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.)) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Thales, 2023
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-217380 (URN)
Available from: 2023-12-01 Created: 2023-12-01 Last updated: 2024-03-05Bibliographically approved
Bergman, K. G. & Franzén, N. (2022). The force of fictional discourse. Synthese, 200(6), Article ID 474.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The force of fictional discourse
2022 (English)In: Synthese, ISSN 0039-7857, E-ISSN 1573-0964, Vol. 200, no 6, article id 474Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Consider the opening sentence of Tolkien's The Hobbit: (1) In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. By writing this sentence, Tolkien is making a fictional statement. There are two influential views of the nature of such statements. On the pretense view, fictional discourse amounts to pretend assertions. Since the author is not really asserting, but merely pretending, a statement such as Tolkien's is devoid of illocutionary force altogether. By contrast, on the alternative make-believe view, fictional discourse prescribes that the reader make-believe the content of the statement. In this paper, we argue that neither of these views is satisfactory. They both fail to distinguish the linguistic act of creating the fiction, for instance Tolkien writing the sentence above, from the linguistic act of reciting it, such as reading The Hobbit out loud for your children. As an alternative to these views, we propose that the essential feature of the author's speech act is its productive character, that it makes some state of affairs obtain in the fiction. Tolkien's statement, we argue, has the illocutionary force of a declaration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2022
Keywords
Currie, Fiction, Fictional discourse, Pretense, Speech acts
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-201210 (URN)10.1007/s11229-022-03955-w (DOI)000881756600001 ()2-s2.0-85141868447 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Umeå UniversitySwedish Research Council, 2019-02905
Available from: 2022-12-15 Created: 2022-12-15 Last updated: 2022-12-15Bibliographically approved
Franzén, N. (2021). A sensibilist explanation of imaginative resistance. Canadian journal of philosophy, 51(3), 159-174
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A sensibilist explanation of imaginative resistance
2021 (English)In: Canadian journal of philosophy, ISSN 0045-5091, E-ISSN 1911-0820, Vol. 51, no 3, p. 159-174Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article discusses why it is the case that we refuse to accept strange evaluative claims as being true in fictions, even though we are happy to go along with other types of absurdities in such contexts. For instance, we would refuse to accept the following statement as true, even in the context of a fiction: (i) In killing her baby, Giselda did the right thing; after all, it was a girl.

This article offers a sensibilist diagnosis of this puzzle, inspired by an observation first made by David Hume. According to sensibilism, the way we feel about things settles their evaluative properties. Thus, when confronted with a fictional scenario where the configuration of non-evaluative facts and properties is relevantly similar to the actual world, we refuse to go along with evaluative properties being instantiated according to a different pattern. It is the attitudes we hold in the actual world that fix the extension of evaluative terms, even in nonactual worlds. When engaging with a fiction, we (to some extent) leave our beliefs about what the world is like behind, while taking our emotional attitudes with us into the fiction.

To substantiate this diagnosis, this paper outlines a sensibilist semantics for evaluative terms based on recent discussion regarding predicates of personal taste, and explains how, together with standard assumptions about the nature of fictional discourse, it makes the relevant predictions with respect to engagement with fictions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge University Press, 2021
Keywords
Expressivism, David Hume, imaginative resistance, relativism, sensibilism
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-217369 (URN)10.1017/can.2021.10 (DOI)000678100100003 ()2-s2.0-85108536424 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2023-11-30 Created: 2023-11-30 Last updated: 2023-12-04Bibliographically approved
Franzén, N. (2021). Fictional truth: in defence of the reality principle. In: Emar Maier; Andreas Stokke (Ed.), The language of fiction: (pp. 88-106). Oxford: Oxford University Press
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Fictional truth: in defence of the reality principle
2021 (English)In: The language of fiction / [ed] Emar Maier; Andreas Stokke, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021, p. 88-106Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

A well-known theory about under which circumstances a statement is true in a fiction is the Reality Principle (RP), which originates in the work of David Lewis: "(RP) Where p1…pn are the primary fictional truths of a fiction F, it is true in F that q iff the following holds: were p1…pn the case, q would have been the case" (Walton 1990, 44). RP has been subjected to a number of counterexamples, up to a point where, in the words of Stacie Friend (2017, 33), "it is widely recognized that the Reality Principle […] cannot be a universal inference rule for implied story-truths". This chapter argues that the strength of these counterexamples is widely overestimated, and that they do not, on closer scrutiny, constitute reasons for rejecting RP.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021
Keywords
"Truth in Fiction", Reality Principle, Gregory Currie, David Lewis, Kathleen Stock, Kendall Walton
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-217371 (URN)10.1093/oso/9780198846376.003.0004 (DOI)9780198846376 (ISBN)9780191881534 (ISBN)
Available from: 2023-11-30 Created: 2023-11-30 Last updated: 2023-12-04Bibliographically approved
Franzén, N., Moberger, V. & Risberg, O. (2021). Grundbok i metaetik. Lund: Studentlitteratur AB
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Grundbok i metaetik
2021 (Swedish)Book (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund: Studentlitteratur AB, 2021. p. 299
National Category
Philosophy, Ethics and Religion
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-217384 (URN)9789144140131 (ISBN)
Available from: 2023-12-01 Created: 2023-12-01 Last updated: 2023-12-01Bibliographically approved
Franzén, N. (2021). Non-factualism and evaluative supervenience. Inquiry
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Non-factualism and evaluative supervenience
2021 (English)In: Inquiry, ISSN 0020-174X, E-ISSN 1502-3923Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Supervenience in metaethics is the notion that there can be no moral difference between two acts, persons or events without some non-moral difference underlying it. If St. Francis is a good man, there could not be a man exactly like St. Francis in non-evaluative respects that is not good. The phenomenon was first systematically discussed by R. M. Hare (1952), who argued that realists about evaluative properties struggle to account for it. As is well established, Hare, and following him, Simon Blackburn, mistakenly took the relevant phenomenon to be weak rather than strong supervenience, and the explanations they offered for it are accordingly outdated. In this paper, I present a non-factualist account of strong supervenience of the evaluative and argue that it fares better than competing realist views in explaining the conceptual nature of the phenomenon, as well as in offering an account of the supervenience of the evaluative in general, rather than more narrowly the moral. While Hare and Blackburn were wrong about the specifics, they were right in that non-factualists can offer a plausible account of the supervenience of the evaluative, that in certain respects is superior to competing realist explanations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2021
Keywords
Expressivism, metaethics, relativism, Simon Blackburn, supervenience
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-217368 (URN)10.1080/0020174x.2021.1980432 (DOI)000715564500001 ()2-s2.0-85118627029 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2019-02905
Available from: 2023-11-30 Created: 2023-11-30 Last updated: 2023-12-04Bibliographically approved
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