/ Morality, Fiction, and Possibility
The last sentence raises a few related puzzles. Intuitively, it is not true, even in the story, that Craig's murder was morally justified. What the narrator tells us here is just false. That should be a little surprising. We're being told a story, after all, so the storyteller should be an authority on what's true in it. Here we hearers, not the author, get to rule on which moral claims are true and false. But usually the author gets to say what's what. The action takes place in Providence, on Highway 95, just because the author says so. And we don't reject those claims in the story just because no such murder has ever taken place on Highway 95. False claims can generally be true in stories. Normally, the author's say-so is enough to make it so, at least in the story, even if what is said is really false. The first puzzle, the alethic puzzle, is why authorial authority breaks down in cases like Death on the Freeway . Why can't the author just make sentences like the last sentence in Death true in the story by saying they are true? At this stage I won't try and give a more precise characterisation of which features of Death lead to the break down of authorial authority, for that will be at issue below.
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