Lewis (2005) has recently argued that the quasi-realism of Blackburn (as defended in e.g. Blackburn 1984, ch. 6, and Blackburn 1988) is a kind of fictionalism. In making this claim, Lewis grants for the sake of argument that quasi-realism succeeds ‘on its own terms’, so that the quasi-realist is entitled to ‘echo’ everything the realist says.

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To begin with, Lewis distinguishes disowning prefaces from disowning prefixes (2005: 315). Examples given of disowning prefixes include: ‘According to the pack of lies my opponent has just told you …’ and ‘According to the Sherlock Holmes stories …’. One example of a disowning preface is: ‘I shall say much that I do not believe, starting now’. The distinction is that:

[w]hen the assertoric force of what follows is cancelled by a prefix, straightaway some other assertion takes its place: an assertion, as it might be,...

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