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Zalta's two modes of predication to Meinong's two kinds of properties Jacquette suggests using a special relation of attribution, rather like the ascription relation Peter van Inwagen introduced in for the case of fictional characters. Completing this quartet of applied chapters are two whose positions strike me as more obvious: how to understand Tarskian quantificational semantics in Meinongian terms, making the result safe from a critique like John Etchemendy's, and how Russell's account of relations as existent universals can be rendered in neutral Meinongian terms.

This is followed by two chapters on the more or less overtly anti-Meinongian approaches to fiction of Lewis and Kripke, followed by two somewhat curious stand-alone chapters, the first a defense of Meinong's subjectivism about aesthetic value a somewhat puzzling chapter, since Meinong's own mature view was an interesting and sophisticated version of objectivism and the second an attempt to understand quantum indeterminacy as an instance of Meinongian predicational incompleteness.

The last two chapters are lighter: an account of Jacquette's development as a Meinongian logician, followed by a brief and by now unsurprising reprise of the theme of Meinongian neglect and rediscovery. Completing the book is an appendix containing Jacquette's translations plus commentaries of two papers by Ernst Mally that discuss the latter's theory of determinations as it stood in roughly speaking, his theory of properties, and his distinction between formal or constitutive and extra-formal or extraconstitutive properties.

There is much in Jacquette's book that will be of interest and value to readers of Meinong. But I also think the book rather oversells its message of neglect and rediscovery. Let me begin by highlighting what I see as the main missing element in Jacquette's presentation. Jacquette tends to portray himself as a lone figure "laboring in the Meinongian vineyard", still encountering opposition to Meinong's beingless objects that is, "if anything, as virulent today as 30 years ago when [he] became persuaded of the need for a Meinongian counterbalance to a predominantly contemporary referentially extensionalist logic and semantics" p.

But that is not how the outside world sees current interest in Meinongian ideas. The problem of how to understand claims of nonexistence now occupy center stage in philosophy, and criticisms of Russell's account of such claims and claims about the nonexistent in general are rife. Meinong is seen as one of the early and most important contributors to this debate.

Nor is Quine seen as the unrivalled hero of analytic-style metaphysics and ontology he once was. Many now prefer to side more with Carnap on questions of ontology, sharing a certain relaxed take on ontology that would have been anathema to Quine see especially the growing literature on metaontology and metametaphysics. Relatedly, many logicians and philosophers now think that quantifiers need not be existentially loaded.

Meinongian Logic

To see in such developments the continued muscle-flexing of "referentially extensionalist logic and semantics" would seem bizarre. It is of course true that relatively few of the many philosophers who work in these areas would self-identify as Meinongian, but neither would they disown Meinongianism quite in the way Kripke did in his John Locke lectures. The field has simply matured, and Meinongianism is one of the options, if not one of the more popular options. I suspect that one reason that Jacquette doesn't buy this is that he doesn't see much of a sign of this more relaxed attitude.

In this he may be right, but for a reason that deserves highlighting. When Jacquette writes about being a lone figure "laboring in the Meinongian vineyard" his description of the vineyard quickly reveals that he is talking about Meinongianism as Jacquette understands it -- a view committed to a domain of objects that reflect a principle of comprehension restricted only by the nature of the properties that figure in it they must be constitutive properties , where these objects literally have the properties that thus identify them, and where many of the objects are therefore nonexistent since no existent thing has their identifying or constitutive properties.

This may have been Meinong's own view, but why interpret the Meinongian project so narrowly? Mally himself thought there was another way to develop Meinong's object theory, with his work on this alternative way of understanding the role of determinations appearing just a few years after the papers in the Appendix. Zalta later developed the few hints Mally offers into a powerful logical framework that accepts two modes of predication in place of two kinds of properties.

Despite Jacquette's urgings, I see nothing remotely amiss in construing this as a Meinongian or neo-Meinongian perspective.

It is easy enough to divest the framework of the Platonist cloak Zalta often dresses it in, if the Platonism is what worries Jacquette. Meinong might well not have accepted such a view, but we have already seen that Jacquette himself departs from Meinong in ways the latter would have decried. Jacquette may of course insist that his neo- Meinongianism is the logical and semantic framework version we get to by making minimal revisions to Meinong's actual views, and that it is the only one adequately supported by argument.

But that is doubtful, to say the least. Jacquette's brand of Meinongianism faces problems that some other versions don't face. In particular, it seems obvious that ordinary predicates like 'being golden', 'being a mountain', 'being a clever detective living in London', and so on, are existence-entailing see especially Graham Priest's Towards Non-Being.

For consider. Suppose we agree that being physical and located in space and time suffices for something to exist. But it is a conceptual truth that if x is a mountain or if x is a detective living living! For example, if a representation of red is of a serious character, it has a perceptual look because a red-quale is involved cf. If the red-representation is not eidetic but only reproductive, it is of an imaginary character cf. Judgments are directed to objectives and involve conviction, whereas assumptions do not involve conviction — they merely involve entertaining the objectives they are directed at, i.

Meinong realized that such an entertaining of objectives without conviction plays a central role in our intellectual and emotional lives. Asking questions, denying, reasoning, desiring, playing games, performing or producing artistic works would not be possible without assuming.

In judging that A or B , for example, one does not judge A and B , respectively — one only assumes them. Adopting a differentiation of Mally , 61—2, fn. Meinong later even distinguishes between 1 serious-like and 2 shadowy fantasy experiences [ ernstartige versus schattenhafte Phantasieerlebnisse ]. A fantasy experience e. Assumptions do not imply conviction. Hence, no assumption can exhibit any evidential advantage over another assumption or can be challenged on evidential grounds.

From the standpoint of an evidential requirement, one cannot believe everything, but one can assume everything, that is, one can assume any objective and one can represent any objectum. The objects of the more simple representations can be seen as the foundation of the complex object, which is always an object of higher order, a superius , because it is founded by the founding objects inferiora. See below Section 4. In order to get a representation of objects of higher order, of a Gestalt, a melody, for example, you have to have representations of the more elementary objects on which you build the complex representation.

Whatever can be experienced in some way, i. Meinong's comments on this principle show that it combines several claims; in particular, 1 the characterization principle , which postulates that any object has those properties that it is characterized as having e. Routley The latter catchphrase means that neither being nor non-being belongs to the make-up of an object's nature, but it should not be taken to mean that an object is beyond being and non-being in the sense that it neither has being nor does not have being — the second clause of the indifference principle makes this clear.

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Although the non-being of an object may be guaranteed by the object's nature its so-being — as in the case of the round square, for example —, the non-being does not belong to its nature. Meinong seems to accept the law of excluded middle only with respect to the sentence negation.

Pure things like the triangle as such are incomplete objects. The triangle as such has three angles a constitutive property , it has three sides a consecutive property, one that is somehow included in the object's constitutive properties , but it is neither scalene nor non-scalene, neither green nor non-green etc. In such cases denying that a is F does not imply affirming that a is not F , because the denial that a is F may also be correct when a is not determined with respect to F.

Meinong would have acknowledged the validity of. More recent philosophical work shows that characterizing determinations can be constructed which go against any classical logical law. The object the square such that it is not the case that it is square is characterized as being square and also being such that it is not the case that it is square. These two determinations, however, lead to a contradiction involving external negation See Routley ; Simons , ; Thrush With respect to being, Meinong states that all complete objects have either being or non-being, and all incomplete objects lack being.

Meinong's indifference principle accommodates the law of excluded middle in the external but not in the internal version. From the fact that incomplete objects do not have being, it does not follow that they have non-being as well. Some of them, for example, incomplete objects that are also contradictorily determined, have non-being; others, like the triangle as such, are not determined with respect to being at all. Incomplete objects that are not determined with respect to being serve as the foundation of possibility insofar as neither the factuality nor the nonfactuality of their being and their so-being except their constitutive properties is specified.

The borderline cases are degree 1 factuality and degree 0 nonfactuality. Meinong states that incomplete objects can somehow be embedded or involved in complete objects, not like a part in a whole, but rather in the sense that for certain incomplete objects there are more complete ones which have at least all the determinations that the incomplete objects in question have. Such an incomplete object, the die, for instance, can be said to be implected [ implektiert ], i.


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One may apply the possibility ascription of incomplete objects to the corresponding complete objects in an indirect way. He finally interprets outside-being as a borderline case of a kind of being. Every object is prior to its apprehension, i. If so, the most general determination of so-being is being an object , and the most general determination of being is outside-being.

The concept of an object cannot be defined in terms of a qualified genus and differentia. It does not have a negative counterpart, and correlatively outside-being does not seem to have a negation either , Section 2 B, —7. In lecture notes from , , Meinong also mentions absurdities, examples of nonsense [ Unsinn ], and tries to contrast them with cases of a kind of inconsistency [ Widersinn ] like the round square.

Lastly, however, Meinong gives up the attempt to distinguish nonsense from mere inconsistency. Meinong's point, rather, is that although the first two examples mix determinations of different groups, his theory of objects can explain, and given an account of, them as incompatibilities, whereas the last example has only linguistic but no object theoretical relevance Cf.

If one puts the paradoxical and nonsensical cases aside, Meinong's table of categories according to the modes of being looks as follows:. Being has two modes, to wit existence , which is linked with time, and mere subsistence , which is timeless. Physical and psychological things are real. If an object that subsists also exists, it is a real object, but if an object that subsists cannot exist i. Hence, ideal objects can never correctly be said to exist.

There are also ideal objects that do not subsist, for example the being of a biangle or the non-identity between the morning star and the evening star. Russell especially a; see also b and chiefly objects to Meinong's theory as inconsistent because of the following: 1 Some propositions about impossible objects e. Russell thinks he can provide a radical cure for Meinong's inconsistencies by applying his theory of descriptions, which treat definite and indefinite descriptions as incomplete symbols that are to be eliminated in favor of existential quantification and predicates.

According to Russell, the problems involved stem from the mistaken view that the grammatical form of language always corresponds to its logical form, and that if an expression means something, there must always be some thing that it means. It is because Meinong wrongly assumes that such expressions are referring expressions whose meaning is what they refer to that his theory is apt to infringe logical laws.

On the contrary, thinking about impossibilia makes the suspension of the law of noncontradiction indispensable.

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Meinong's later appeal to the above-mentioned distinction between negation in a wider and narrower sense 4. According to Meinong's characterization principle, the round square is both round and non-round, but it is not the case that i the round square is round and ii it is not the case that the round square is round i.

The triangle is neither green nor non-green, but nevertheless it is the case that the triangle is either green or not green.

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To see that there is still a problem left, see above 4. Meinong's distinction between judgments of so-being and judgments of being, combined with the indifference principle that being does not belong to the object's nature so-being , reminds one of Kant's dictum that being is not a real predicate. According to the characterization principle, the round square, for instance, is round and a square, i.

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The round square has as its extra-nuclear determinations such properties as being determined by the nuclear property round , being determined by two nuclear properties , being undetermined by the property red , being incomplete , being contradictorily determined , and having non-being.

Without it Meinong would also have had problems holding the principle that every particular triangle has all the properties that belong to the incomplete object the triangle in the abstract. Particular triangles are triangles, have three sides etc. Furthermore, Meinong states that one can treat [ behandeln ] such determinations like complete in two ways: as an extra-nuclear determination but also as a nuclear one.

If one considers an object through its three nuclear determinations complete , brown , and quadrangle one has not yet decided the question whether one intends the object to have the extra-nuclear determination of completeness. But one can do this simply by attributing the extra-nuclear version of the determination complete. Our mental powers are limited as our human mind cannot take in the infinity of the determinations of complete objects.

Despite this limitation we can think and speak about the world and hit [ treffen ] an existing and, therefore, complete object because we consider an object that is incomplete to be complete in its extra-nuclear version. Nevertheless, our thinking of things in the world with the aid of auxiliary objects and the extra-nuclear determinations may fail.

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It is worth noting that you can also hit incomplete objects by this method. This is done in some logical reconstructions of Meinong's object theory which favor a dual property approach for example, Parsons ; Routley ; Jacquette ; see below 4. Objectives can be assumed to be subsistent factual , although they do not subsist are nonfactual. For instance, we can imagine that it is a fact that squares are round. This assumption has as its object the fact that squares are round ; nevertheless this assumption is directed to a non-subsistent nonfactual objective.

On the one hand according to the characterization principle , the objective the fact that squares are round is a fact; on the other hand as the objective in question cannot subsist , it is not a fact. Meinong thinks that one cannot unrestrictedly apply analytic sentences to the sphere of being. On the interpretation of these sentences as purely analytic, no claim as to the existence of the sun or an eclipsed object is made. However, if an existential claim is implied, the sentences could be false; they are not purely analytic anymore.

But this existence claim is an extra claim and cannot be gained through an analytic formula. In short, it is in no way within one's mental power to determine objectively which objectives have the modal moment. The principle of unrestricted freedom of assumption thus finds a limit with respect to the modal moment. It follows that for Meinong it is not possible to apply the characterization principle to cases where the existence of the objects is presupposed to be a fact cf. Jorgensen Meinong's conception of beingless objects has proved to have useful application in intentional contexts where simple applications of Russell's theory of descriptions do not work.

Consider the following:. Depending on whether the scope of the description is wide or narrow, this sentence permits two possible analyses:. The first analysis is false, because no round square exists. The second is false, because Meinong did not believe in the existence of the round square Routley , —9; Simons, , —5; Priest , ; cf. Russell's claim that Meinong's theory is internally inconsistent can be refuted. Routley and in particular Parsons in addition to authors like Jacquette are in accord with this dual-property approach. Some objects are, in a way, founded on other objects. A founding object is an inferius , as it is in some way inferior and also prior to the founded object, that is, an inferius is of lower order with respect to its superior object.

Objects of higher order presuppose founding objects; you can also say that the superius supervenes on its inferiora. Meinong is a kind of ontological atomist as he thinks that there are objects of lowest order — objects which cannot be objects of higher order. These genuinely simple objects are called infima , Sect. Although objects of higher order are based on infima they are not reducible to them; properties of superiora supervene on properties of their inferiora. Infima can be presented only by the mental act of an elementary representation, while objects of higher order can be presented by representations gained by the production of representation; see above 3.

Every object of higher order includes its constituents and a relation which combines them in a specific way. Not all objects of higher order have mereological parts.


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  4. Objectives are ideal, not real objects. They may have being or not, but they cannot exist at all. Like all other possible ideal objects, they can merely subsist. An objective which subsists can be called factual — it is a fact [ Tatsache ]. Nonfactual objectives nonfacts, [ Untatsachen ] do not subsist and are thus objects beyond being. In an analogous way one can also attribute truth to thoughts in so far as they present subsistent objectives facts. The relation of possibility to probability corresponds to the relation of factuality to truth. Possibility is objective and absolute, whereas probability is in a way subjective and relative.

    Meinong did not develop a comprehensive philosophy of language; his remarks on language are rather fragmentary and embedded as digressions in his object-theoretical works. Referring to Martinak , Meinong states that signs are objects which let someone know the existence of usually other objects. A is a sign for someone if it constitutes the epistemic ground to an epistemic consequent B : If you can infer the presence of B from the presence of A , then A is a sign of B for you, and the being of B is the meaning of the sign A.

    An experience like happiness, sorrow, conviction can be expressed by an object a smiling face, tears, and a group of words respectively. This object more exactly: the fact that there is such an object lets you know the expressed act experience, mental phenomenon and, therefore, functions as a sign which has the act behind it as its meaning 1.

    If A is the sign that has the experience B as its meaning 1 , and if the object C is presented by the expressed experience B , then the sign A is connected not only with B but, in a new way, also with C , which is the meaning 2. In other words, you can say the utterance expresses the judgment in one way, and it expresses the object presented by the judgment in another way. Meinong observes that the meaning of a word is usually an actual meaning for someone, but he also mentions in contrast to such a speaker's meaning the potential, linguistic meaning of a word.

    Meinong's account from is represented in the schematic diagram below cf. Simons , :. In general, we speak about real, existent things, which as completely determined objects have infinitely many determinations. Nevertheless a question remains: That an object appears closed or open to us, is due to our intending meaning. Peter Millican - - Mind Modal Meinongianism for Fictional Objects. Francesco Berto - - Metaphysica 9 2 Irving H. Anellis - - Logica Universalis 3 2 Neo-Meinongian neo-Russellians.

    Seyed N. Mousavian - - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 2 Henry Laycock - - Oxford University Press. Robert Goldblatt - - Cambridge University Press.

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    Logic, Semantics, Metamathematics. Alfred Tarski - - Oxford, Clarendon Press. An Alternative Theory of Nonexistent Objects. Ontology and the Logistic Analysis of Language. Semantics for the Logic of Essence.