Denying Existence: The Logic, Epistemology and Pragmatics of Negative Existentials and Fictional Discourse

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Springer Science & Business Media, Nov 30, 1997 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 255 pages
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Thanks to the Inlaks Foundation in India, I was able to do my doctoral research on Our Talk About Nonexistents at Oxford in the early eighties. The two greatest philosophers of that heaven of analytical philosophy - Peter Strawson and Michael Dummett - supervised my work, reading and criticising all the fledgling philosophy that I wrote during those three years. At Sir Peter's request, Gareth Evans, shortly before his death, lent me an unpublished transcript of Kripke's John Locke Lectures. Work on the Appendix about Indian Philosophy was supervised by the late Professor Bimal Krishna Matilal with whom informal but intense philosophical conversations used to spill over into dinner at his place almost every other day. It was Professor Matilal who sent me, over a summer, to study a tough Navya-Nyaya text under his own Nyaya teacher Pandit Visvabandhu Tarkatirtha at Calcutta. All four of these teachers were as kind to me as my life-long mentor in philosophy Professor Pranab Kumar Sen, whose clarity and depth remain the unreachable regu­ lative ideal of my intellect. When I came back to India, my life became blissfully free of the agonising anxiety to publish, until, after a conference at Jadavpur University where I gave an impromptu paper, ironically enough, on Non-doings, I met Derek Parfit. He had a six-hour conversation with me, explicitly planning my life. Five years had already elapsed since I had finished my D. Phil, but Derek read my thesis and liked it.
 

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Contents

THE SCAFFOLDING FOR A SOLUTION
9
THE LOGICAL FORM OF EXISTENCEASSERTIONS
33
SINGULAR DEATHSENTENCES
63
AN ENQUIRY INTO THE MEANING AND TRUTH OF FICTIONAL
81
DEEPER TROUBLES WITH FICTION REFERENCE EMOTION
111
APPEARING UNREALS
143
THE MARVEL OF THE MASTERGAME
171
CONCLUDING UNSEMANTIC POSTSCRIPT
197
THE PROBLEM OF THE NONEXISTENT IN INDIAN PHILOSOPHY
211
Further Vicissitudes in the Life of the Horned Rabbit
220
Does Udayana Pose a Threat to the Games Approach?
232
BIBLIOGRAPHY
247
INDEX OF NAMES
253
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About the author (1997)

Arindam Chakrabarti, University of Hawai'i, USA

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