The Real, the Fictional, and the Fake
SpazioFilosofico, p. 209, 2013
11 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2013
Date Written: September 6, 2013
Reality is rich, various, and multi-layered. The earth we humans inhabit is only one small corner of a vast universe, itself perhaps only one of many “multi-verses.” And in this small corner, natural reality is overlaid by a dense mesh of human creations, physical and mental, intellectual and imaginative. It isn’t easy, however, to articulate the ontological status of those imaginative creations: there really are fictional characters, etc., one wants to say, but those fictional characters, etc. aren’t real. But the air of paradox can be dispelled by noticing that in the metaphysical use in which it contrasts with “imaginary,” just as in the more humdrum use in which it contrasts with “fake, bogus,” the word “real” is short for “real X.” There are real fictional characters; but they aren’t real people, they’re mental constructions.
Real: actually existing as a thing or occurring in fact, objective, genuine, rightly so called, natural, sincere, not purely nominal or supposed or pretended or artificial of hypocritical or affected. (Oxford English Dictionary).
Keywords: Real, fictional, fake, imagination, the imaginary, fictional characters, Innocent Realism
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