Against hermeneutic fictionalism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

61 Downloads (Pure)


This chapter considers whether hermeneutic fictionalism is preferable to error theory. If we become convinced that the beliefs and assertions apparently involved in a discourse contradict a well-established philosophical doctrine, then we may conclude that the beliefs and assertions are untrue, and adopt an error theory of the discourse. Or we may claim that the discourse does not genuinely involve those beliefs and assertions, and adopt hermeneutic fictionalism. In this chapter, I argue that considerations of error avoidance do not support hermeneutic fictionalism over error theory, but rather the reverse; and I defend what has become known as the "phenomenological objection" to hermeneutic fictionalism from Stuart Brock’s attempt to overturn it. My conclusion is that until extra evidence is provided, we should prefer an error theory of a discourse to a hermeneutic fictionalist one.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFictionalism in Philosophy
EditorsBradley Armour-Garb, Frederick Kroon
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780190689605
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • hermeneutic fictionalism
  • error theory
  • phenomenological objection
  • Stuart Brock
  • fictional characters
  • interpretative charity


Dive into the research topics of 'Against hermeneutic fictionalism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this