Nonexistent Objects

Edited by David Sanson (Illinois State University)
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  1. added 2018-09-11
    Deep Indeterminacy in Physics and Fiction.George Darby, Martin Pickup & Jon Robson - 2017 - In Otávio Bueno, Steven French, George Darby & Dean Rickles (eds.), Thinking About Science, Reflecting on Art: Bringing Aesthetics and Philosophy of Science Together. Routledge.
    Indeterminacy in its various forms has been the focus of a great deal of philosophical attention in recent years. Much of this discussion has focused on the status of vague predicates such as ‘tall’, ‘bald’, and ‘heap’. It is determinately the case that a seven-foot person is tall and that a five-foot person is not tall. However, it seems difficult to pick out any determinate height at which someone becomes tall. How best to account for this phenomenon is, of course, (...)
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  2. added 2018-05-17
    Review of Anthony Everett, The Nonexistent. [REVIEW]Catharine Abell - 2016 - British Journal of Aesthetics 56 (2):209-212.
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  3. added 2017-11-24
    More Things in Heaven and Earth.Barry Smith - 1995 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 50 (1):187-201.
    Philosophers in the field of analytic metaphysics have begun gradually to come to terms with the fact that there are entities in a range of categories not dreamt of in the set-theory and predicate-logic-based ontologies of their forefathers. Examples of such “entia minora” would include: boundaries, places, events, states holes, shadows, individual colour- and tone-instances (tropes), together with combinations of these and associated simple and complex universal species or essences, states of affairs, judgment-contents, and myriad abstract structures of the sorts (...)
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  4. added 2017-11-06
    Chapter 5: Intensional Transitive Verbs and Their 'Objects'.Friederike Moltmann - 2013 - In Abstract Objects and the semantics of Natural Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This chapter gives a truthmaker-based account of the semantics of 'reifying' quantifiers like 'something' when they act as complements of intensional transitive verbs ('need', 'look for'). It argues that such quantifiers range over 'variable satisfiers' of the attitudinal object described by the verb (e.g. the need or the search).
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  5. added 2017-03-20
    Non-Existent Objects and Epistemological Ontology.William J. Rapaport - 1985 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 25:61-95.
    This essay examines the role of non-existent objects in "epistemological ontology" — the study of the entities that make thinking possible. An earlier revision of Meinong's Theory of Objects is reviewed, Meinong's notions of Quasisein and Außersein are discussed, and a theory of Meinongian objects as "combinatorially possible" entities is presented.
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  6. added 2017-01-14
    Meinong on Aesthetic Objects and the Knowledge-Value of Emotions.Venanzio Raspa - 2013 - Humana.Mente. Journal of Philosophical Studies 25:211-234.
    In this paper I trace a theoretical path along Meinong’s works, by means of which the notion of aesthetic object as well as the changes this notion undergoes along Meinong’s output will be highlighted. Focusing especially on "Über emotionale Präsentation", I examine, on the one hand, the cognitive function of emotions, on the other hand, the objects apprehended by aesthetic emotions, i.e. aesthetic objects. These are ideal objects of higher order, which have, even though not primarily, the capacity to attract (...)
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  7. added 2016-12-12
    Two‐Dimensional Modal Meinongianism.Wolfgang Barz - 2016 - Ratio 29 (3):249-267.
    The aim of this paper is to show that Priest's modal Meinongianism might benefit from joining forces with two-dimensionalism. For this purpose, I propose a two-dimensional solution to a problem for modal Meinongianism that is posed by Beall, Sauchelli, and Milne, and show that, by taking recourse to two-dimensionalism, divergent intuitions about the question of whether fictional characters might exist can be reconciled. Moreover, two-dimensionalism helps to rebut Kroon's argument to the conclusion that modal Meinongianism cannot rule out the odd (...)
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  8. added 2016-02-26
    On Modal Meinongianism.Thibaut Giraud - 2016 - Synthese 193 (10).
    Modal Meinongianism is a form of Meinongianism whose main supporters are Graham Priest and Francesco Berto. The main idea of modal Meinongianism is to restrict the logical deviance of Meinongian non-existent objects to impossible worlds and thus prevent it from “contaminating” the actual world: the round square is round and not round, but not in the actual world, only in an impossible world. In the actual world, supposedly, no contradiction is true. I will show that Priest’s semantics, as originally formulated (...)
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  9. added 2015-12-08
    Review: Terence Parsons, Nonexistent Objects. [REVIEW]George Bealer - 1984 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 49 (2):652-655.
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  10. added 2015-09-19
    Doubts About One’s Own Existence.Wolfgang Barz - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (5-6):645-668.
    The aim of this paper is to show that it is not irrational to doubt one’s own existence, even in the face of introspective evidence to the effect that one is currently in a certain mental state. For this purpose, I will outline a situation in which I do not exist, but which cannot be ruled out on the basis of any evidence available to me—including introspective evidence about my current mental states. I use this ‘superskeptical scenario,’ as I will (...)
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  11. added 2015-08-26
    Fictional Realism and Negative Existentials.Tatjana von Solodkoff - 2014 - In Manuel García-Carpintero & Genoveva Martí (eds.), Empty Representations: Reference and Non-Existence. Oxford University Press. pp. 333-352.
    In this paper I confront what I take to be the crucial challenge for fictional realism, i.e. the view that fictional characters exist. This is the problem of accounting for the intuition that corresponding negative existentials such as ‘Sherlock Holmes does not exist’ are true (when, given fictional realism, taken literally they seem false). I advance a novel and detailed form of the response according to which we take them to mean variants of such claims as: there is no concrete (...)
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  12. added 2015-08-21
    What is the Problem of Non-Existence?Tim Crane - 2012 - Philosophia 40 (3):417-434.
    It is widely held that there is a problem of talking about or otherwise representing things that not exist. But what exactly is this problem? This paper presents a formulation of the problem in terms of the conflict between the fact that there are truths about non-existent things and the fact that truths must be answerable to reality, how things are. Given this, the problem of singular negative existential statements is no longer the central or most difficult aspect of the (...)
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  13. added 2015-08-05
    Are There Non-Existent Entities?Theodore J. Everett - 2005 - In Larry Lee Blackman (ed.), The Philosophy of Panayot Butchvarov: a collegial evaluation. Edwin Mellen Press. pp. 3-19.
    There are things of which it is true to say that there are no such things. How can we resolve this paradox? Panayot Butchvarov argues that there are objects of reference that are not also entities, where the former must merely be thinkable but the latter must be indefinitely re-identifiable. This paper argues that fictional and many other unreal objects are indeed indefinitely re-identifiable, so they must be counted as existing things on Butchvarov's theory. The paradox is best resolved by (...)
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  14. added 2015-07-14
    Modal Meinongianism and Characterization.Francesco Berto & Graham Priest - 2014 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 90 (1):183-200.
    In this paper we reply to arguments of Kroon (“Characterization and Existence in Modal Meinongianism”. Grazer Philosophische Studien 86, 23–34) to the effect that Modal Meinongianism cannot do justice to Meinongian claims such as that the golden mountain is golden, and that it does not exist.
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  15. added 2015-05-26
    Commentary On: Jesse Bohl's "What Are We to Do About Traditional Logic?".Gilbert Plumer - 2000 - In Christopher W. Tindale, Hans V. Hansen & Elmar Sveda (eds.), Argumentation at the Century's Turn [CD-ROM]. Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation. pp. 1-4.
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  16. added 2015-04-27
    Aristotle on Being.George Couvalis - forthcoming - Modern Greek Studies (Australia and New Zealand).
    Aristotle explains existence through postulating essences that are intrinsic and percep- tion independent. I argue that his theory is more plausible than Hume’s and Russell’s theories of existence. Russell modifies Hume’s theory because he wants to allow for the existence of mathematical objects. However, Russell’s theory facilitates a problematic collapse of ontology into epistemology, which has become a feature of much analytic philosophy. This collapse obscures the nature of truth. Aristotle is to be praised for starting with a clear account (...)
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  17. added 2015-03-26
    New Arguments for 'Intelligent Design'? Review Article on William A. Dembski, Being as Communion: A Metaphysics of Information. [REVIEW]Philippe Gagnon - 2015 - ESSSAT News and Reviews 25 (1):17-24.
    Critical notice assessing the use of information theory in the attempt to build a design inference, and to re-establish some aspects of the program of natural theology, as carried out in this third major monograph devoted to the subject of intelligent design theory by mathematician and philosopher William A. Dembski, after The Design Inference (1998) and No Free Lunch (2002).
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  18. added 2015-03-22
    Representations of Imaginary, Nonexistent, or Nonfigurative Objects.Winfried Nöth - 2006 - Cognitio 7 (2):277-291.
    According to the logical positivists, signs (words and pictures) of imaginary beings have no referent (Goodman). The semiotic theory behind this assumption is dualistic and Cartesian: signs vs. nonsigns as well as the mental vs. the material world are in fundamental opposition. Peirce’s semiotics is based on the premise of the sign as a mediator between such opposites: signs do not refer to referents, they represent objects to a mind, but the object of a sign can be existent or nonexistent, (...)
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  19. added 2015-03-04
    Variable Objects and Truthmaking.Friederike Moltmann - forthcoming - In Mircea Dumitru (ed.), Metaphysics, Meaning, and Modality. Themes from Kit Fine. Oxford University Press.
    This paper will focus on a philosophically significant construction whose semantics brings together two important notions in Kit Fine’s philosophy, the notion of truthmaking and the notion of a variable embodiment, or its extension, namely what I call a ‘variable object’. The analysis of the construction this paper will develop will be based on an account of clausal complements of intensional verbs that is of more general interest, based on truthmaking and the notion of a cognitive product, such as a (...)
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  20. added 2014-11-13
    Expressivism About Reference and Quantification Over the Non-Existent Without Meinongian Metaphysics.Stephen Barker - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (S2):215-234.
    Can we believe that there are non-existent entities without commitment to the Meinongian metaphysics? This paper argues we can. What leads us from quantification over non-existent beings to Meinongianism is a general metaphysical assumption about reality at large, and not merely quantification over the non-existent. Broadly speaking, the assumption is that every being we talk about must have a real definition. It’s this assumption that drives us to enquire into the nature of beings like Pegasus, and what our relationship as (...)
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  21. added 2014-04-02
    The Semantics of Existence.Friederike Moltmann - 2013 - Linguistics and Philosophy 36 (1):31-63.
    The notion of existence is a very puzzling one philosophically. Often philosophers have appealed to linguistic properties of sentences stating existence. However, the appeal to linguistic intuitions has generally not been systematic and without serious regard of relevant issues in linguistic semantics. This paper has two aims. On the one hand, it will look at statements of existence from a systematic linguistic point of view, in order to try to clarify what the actual semantics of such statements in fact is. (...)
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  22. added 2014-03-26
    Idealism, Intentionality, and Nonexistent Objects.Gordon Knight - 2001 - Journal of Philosophical Research 26:43-52.
    Idealist philosophers have traditionally tried to defend their views by appealing to the claim that nonmental reality is inconceivable. A standard response to this inconceivability claim is to try to show that it is only plausible if one blurs the fundamental distinction between consciousness and its object. I try to rehabilitate the idealistic argument by presenting an alternative formulation of the idealist’s basic inconceivability claim. Rather than suggesting that all objects are inconceivable apart from consciousness, I suggest that it is (...)
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  23. added 2014-03-08
    Existence as a Real Property.Francesco Berto - 2012 - Synthèse Library, Springer.
    This book is both an introduction to and a research work on Meinongianism. “Meinongianism” is taken here, in accordance with the common philosophical jargon, as a general label for a set of theories of existence – probably the most basic notion of ontology. As an introduction, the book provides the first comprehensive survey and guide to Meinongianism and non-standard theories of existence in all their main forms. As a research work, the book exposes and develops the most up-to-date Meinongian theory (...)
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  24. added 2014-01-18
    Modal Meinongianism, Russell’s Paradox, and the Language/Metalanguage Distinction.Maciej Sendłak - 2013 - Polish Journal of Philosophy (2):63-78.
    The subject of my article is the principle of characterization – the most controversial principle of Meinong’s Theory of Objects. The aim of this text is twofold. First of all, I would like to show that Russell’s well-known objection to Meinong’s Theory of Objects can be reformulated against a new modal interpretation of Meinongianism that is presented mostly by Graham Priest. Secondly, I would like to propose a strategy which gives uncontroversial restriction to the principle of characterization and which allows (...)
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  25. added 2013-12-24
    Probably the Charterhouse of Parma Does Not Exist, Possibly Not Even That Parma.Alberto Voltolini - 2013 - Humana Mente 6 (25):235-261.
    In this paper, I will claim that fictional works apparently about utterly immigrant objects, i.e., real individuals imported in fiction from reality, are instead about fictional individuals that intentionally resemble those real individuals in a significant manner: fictional surrogates of such individuals. Since I also share the realists’ conviction that the remaining fictional works concern native characters, i.e., full-fledged fictional individuals that originate in fiction itself, I will here defend a hyperrealist position according to which fictional works only concern fictional (...)
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  26. added 2013-09-16
    Metaphor, Fictionalism, Make-Believe: Response to Elisabeth Camp.Kendall L. Walton - manuscript
    Prop oriented make-believe is make-believe utilized for the purpose of understanding what I call “props,” actual objects or states of affairs that make propositions “fictional,” true in the make-believe world. I, David Hills, and others have claimed that prop oriented make-believe lies at the heart of the functioning of many metaphors, and one variety of fictionalism in metaphysics invokes prop oriented make-believe to explain away apparent references to entities some find questionable or problematic (fictional characters, propositions, moral properties, numbers). Elisabeth (...)
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  27. added 2013-05-16
    The Selection Problem.Francesco Berto - 2012 - Revue Internationale de Philosophie 262:519-37.
    In 'Fiction and Fictionalism', Mark Sainsbury has recently dubbed “Selection Problem” a serious trouble for Meinongian object theories. Typically, Meinongianism has been phrased as a kind of realism on nonexistent objects : these are mind-independent things, not mental simulacra, having the properties they have independently from the activity of any cognitive agent. But how can one single out an object we have no causal acquaintance with, and which is devoid of spatiotemporal location, picking it out from a pre-determined, mind-independent set (...)
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  28. added 2011-06-11
    Intentionality Without Exotica.R. M. Sainsbury - 2010 - In Robin Jeshion (ed.), New Essays on Singular Thought.
    The paper argues that intensional phenomena can be explained without appealing to "exotic" entities: one that don't exist, are merely possible, or are essentially abstract.
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  29. added 2011-01-28
    Modal Meinongianism and Fiction: The Best of Three Worlds.Francesco Berto - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 152 (3):313-35.
    We outline a neo-Meinongian framework labeled as Modal Meinongian Metaphysics (MMM) to account for the ontology and semantics of fictional discourse. Several competing accounts of fictional objects are originated by the fact that our talking of them mirrors incoherent intuitions: mainstream theories of fiction privilege some such intuitions, but are forced to account for others via complicated paraphrases of the relevant sentences. An ideal theory should resort to as few paraphrases as possible. In Sect. 1, we make this explicit via (...)
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  30. added 2010-12-17
    Truth in Fiction.Franck Lihoreau (ed.) - 2011 - Ontos Verlag.
    The essays collected in this volume are all concerned with the connection between fiction and truth. This question is of utmost importance to metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophical logic and epistemology, raising in each of these areas and at their intersections a large number of issues related to creation, existence, reference, identity, modality, belief, assertion, imagination, pretense, etc. All these topics and many more are addressed in this collection, which brings together original essays written from various points of view by (...)
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  31. added 2010-08-17
    Fictionalia as Modal Artifacts.Jeffrey Goodman - 2010 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 80 (1):21-46.
    Th ere is much controversy surrounding the nature of the relation between fictional individuals and possible individuals. Some have argued that no fictional individual is a possible individual; others have argued that (some) fictional individuals just are (merely) possible individuals. In this paper, I off er further grounds for believing the theory of fictional individuals defended by Amie Thomasson,viz., Artifactualism, by arguing that her view best allows one to make sense of this puzzling relation. More specifically, when we realize that (...)
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