Pegasus, Wyman maintains, has his being as an unactualized possible. Quine 1948: 22

We happily speak of the worlds of fiction, thinking of them as peopled by characters from stories. In a fictional world, the events of the story occur as recounted, and the characters of the story live, move, and have their being. Philosophers have used the notion of possible worlds in giving accounts of modality, and in particular of modal logic. Can the philosopher’s notion usefully be brought to bear to explain intuitive notions relating to fictional worlds and their denizens? Two main bases for an affirmative answer are considered in this chapter: one is the idea that fictional people and places are not actual entities, but merely possible ones, elements in nonactual possible worlds as understood in modal logic; I call realist views like this concerning fictional characters “nonactualist”. Another basis for the appeal to the nonactual is the claim that we can regard fictional operators, like “According to The Three Musketeers …”, as quantifiers over possible worlds as understood in modal logic, and so as saying something like “In every possible world in which things happen as in The Three Musketeers ….” The first task is to give a brief overview of how modal logicians treat possible worlds (this should be skipped by readers already familiar with this approach). I’ll then consider how worlds of this kind might figure in an account of truth

in fiction, suggesting that they do not, and could not, deliver the kind of reduction that some theorists have sought. In the remainder of the chapter, I’ll discuss how nonactualism might adapt to certain difficulties, and in particular I’ll discuss a version of the view according to which some or all fictional objects are impossible, denizens of impossible or inconsistent worlds.