Core · Definitions · Uncategorized

Definition: Fictionalism

Mar 24, 2017 11:43am
(important for propertarian core)

Fictionalism is the name of the judgement within philosophy, as to which statements that appear to be descriptions of the world should not be construed as such, but should instead be understood as cases of “make believe”, of pretending to treat something as literally true (a “useful fiction”).

Fictionalism consists in at least the following three theses:

1) Claims made within the domain of discourse are taken to be truth-apt; that is, descriptive or fictional, and honest or deceitful, and true or false.

2) The domain of discourse is to be interpreted at face value—not reduced to meaning something else:

  • conversation(bonding or entertainment),
  • discourse (discovery),
  • argument(persuasion), and
  • testimony(reporting),

Differ substantially in the contractual commitments to one another as to the degree of

  • description vs fiction,
  • honesty vs deceit, and
  • truth or falsehood,

Of our statements. (We white and grey lie all time time in conversation, and we do no such thing in testimony.)

3) The purpose of *discourse(discovery)* in any given domain is not truth, but communication. Whether descriptive or fictional, honest or deceptive, true or false.


Four common occurrences of fictionalism are:

1) mathematical fictionalism advocated by Hartry Field, which states that talk of numbers and other mathematical objects is nothing more than a verbal convenience for performing their science. (the logic of constant relations: measurement)

2) modal fictionalism developed by Gideon Rosen, which states that possible worlds, regardless of whether they exist or not, may be a part of a useful discourse, and;

3) moral fictionalism in meta-ethics, advocated by Richard Joyce, suggests that fictions (Falsehoods) are too useful to throw out.

4) religious fiction in all areas of thought – our most ancient form of fictionalism.

5) Aesthetic Fictionalism (In the arts, in experience, in the new age, and in the occult)

We must note that all three of these claims are just excuses for doing what has been done in the past.

Of these groups:
0 – Religious Language in toto (supernaturalism)
1 – Literary Philosophers (positive, or advocates ),
2 – Supernormal Physicists, and
3 – Mathematical Platonists;

All attempt to preserve the use of fictions for one of the following possible reasons:

1) To conduct deceptions by claiming their arbitrary preferences or judgements are truths.
2) Obscure their ignorance of causality and decidability in their disciplines, or
3) Preserve the cost of their investments in obscurantist fictional descriptions, or
4) Avoid the costs of investigating the method of decidability within their domains.
5) Avoid the falsification of their arguments if methods of decidability within their domains are discovered.

And so:

If we define philosophy (positive and literary) as the search for methods of decidability within a domain of preference, and

If we define truth  (negative and descriptive) as the search for methods of decidability across all domains regardless of preference.


We find that positive or literary philosophy(fiction or philosophy) informs, suggests opportunities, and justifies preferences for the purpose of forming cooperation and alliances between individuals and groups.

We find that negative or juridical philosophy(truth or law) decides, states limits, and discounts preferences, for the purpose of resolving conflicts between individuals and groups.

Natural Law (propertarianism), is a negative, descriptive, juridical science, not a fictional literature.

Curt Doolittle
The Propertarian Institute
Kiev, Ukraine


One thought on “Definition: Fictionalism

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s