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Nonexistent objects

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2019)

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  1. Self-Consciousness in Animals: Advantages and Problems of a Multipronged Approach.Florian Leonhard Wüstholz - 2015 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 29 (1):1-18.
    Self-consciousness in non-human animals is a complex phenomenon which raises both conceptual and methodological problems. First, what do we mean by the concept of ‘self-consciousness’? Secondly, what is the best experimental approach to self-consciousness? This paper gives a short overview of the concept of self-consciousness in section 1. We can understand the concept of self-consciousness as capturing the ability of subjects to consciously think about themselves as themselves. If this is accurate, then it is prudent to look at a broad (...)
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  • Kant on Truth-Aptness.Alberto Vanzo - 2012 - History and Philosophy of Logic 33 (2):109-126.
    Many scholars claimed that, according to Immanuel Kant, some judgements lack a truth-value: analytic judgements, judgements about items of which humans cannot have experience, judgements of perception, and non-assertoric judgements. However, no one has undertaken an extensive examination of the textual evidence for those claims. Based on an analysis of Kant's texts, I argue that: (1) according to Kant, only judgements of perception are not truth-apt. All other judgements are truth-apt, including analytic judgements and judgements about items of which humans (...)
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  • Centaurs, Pegasus, Sherlock Holmes: Against the Prejudice in Favour of the Real.Cristina Travanini - 2016 - Kairos 17 (1):56-72.
    Meinong’s thought has been rediscovered in recent times by analytic philosophy: his object theory has significant consequences in formal ontology, and especially his account of impossible objects has proved itself to be decisive in a wide range of fields, from logic up to ontology of fiction. Rejecting the traditional ‘prejudice in favour of the real’, Meinong investigates what there is not: a peculiar non-existing object is precisely the fictional object, which exemplifies a number of properties without existing in the same (...)
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  • Ostrich Presentism.Giuliano Torrengo - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (2):255-276.
    Ostrich presentists maintain that we can use all the expressive resources of the tensed language to provide an explanation of why true claims about the past are true, without thereby paying any price in terms of ontology or basic ideology. I clarify the position by making a distinction between three kinds of explanation, which has general interest and applicability. I then criticize the ostrich position because it requires an unconstrained version of the third form of explanation, which is out of (...)
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  • Agency and Fictional Truth: A Formal Study on Fiction-Making.Giuseppe Spolaore - 2015 - Synthese 192 (5):1235-1265.
    Fictional truth, or truth in fiction/pretense, has been the object of extended scrutiny among philosophers and logicians in recent decades. Comparatively little attention, however, has been paid to its inferential relationships with time and with certain deliberate and contingent human activities, namely, the creation of fictional works. The aim of the paper is to contribute to filling the gap. Toward this goal, a formal framework is outlined that is consistent with a variety of conceptions of fictional truth and based upon (...)
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  • Should an Ontological Pluralist Be a Quantificational Pluralist?Byron Simmons - 2022 - Journal of Philosophy 119 (6):324-346.
    Ontological pluralism is the view that there are different fundamental ways of being. Recent defenders of this view—such as Kris McDaniel and Jason Turner—have taken these ways of being to be best captured by semantically primitive quantifier expressions ranging over different domains. They have thus endorsed, what I shall call, quantificational pluralism. I argue that this focus on quantification is a mistake. For, on this view, a quantificational structure—or a quantifier for short—will be whatever part or aspect of reality’s structure (...)
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  • Frivolous Fictions.David Sanson - 2016 - Res Philosophica 93 (2):357-376.
    We want to say both that Sherlock Holmes does not exist, and that he is a fictional character. But how can we say these things without committing ourselves to the existence of Sherlock Holmes? Here I develop and defend a non-commital paraphrase of quantification over fictional characters, modeled on the non-commital paraphrase Kit Fine provides for quantification over possibilia. I also develop and defend the view that names for fictional characters are weakly non-referring, in Nathan Salmon’s sense, and so provide (...)
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  • The Ideal Observer Theory and Motivational Internalism.Daniel Rönnedal - 2015 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 29 (1):79-98.
    In this paper I show that one version of motivational internalism follows from the so-called ideal observer theory. Let us call the version of the ideal observer theory used in this essay (IOT). According to (IOT), it is necessarily the case that it ought to be that A if and only if every ideal observer wants it to be the case that A. We shall call the version of motivational internalism that follows from (IOT) (moral) conditional belief motivational internalism (CBMI). (...)
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  • Lógica clásica y esquizofrenia: por una semántica lúdica.Juan Redmond & Rodrigo Lopez-Orellana - 2018 - Revista de Filosofía 74:215-241.
    En este artículo delineamos una propuesta para elaborar una lógica de las ficciones desde el enfoque lúdico del pragmatismo dialógico. En efecto, centrados en una de las críticas mayores al enfoque clásico de la lógica: la esquizofrenia estructural de su semántica, recorremos los compromisos ontológicos de las dos tradiciones mayores de la lógica para establecer sus posibilidades y límites en el análisis del discurso ficcional, y la superación desde una perspectiva lúdico pragmática.
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  • Ontological Trivialism?Seyed N. Mousavian - 2017 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 94 (1-2):38-68.
    How hard is it to answer an ontological question? Ontological trivialism,, inspired by Carnap’s internal-external distinction among “questions of existence”, replies “very easy.” According to, almost every ontologically disputed entity trivially exists. has been defended by many, including Schiffer and Schaffer. In this paper, I will take issue with. After introducing the view in the context of Carnap-Quine dispute and presenting two arguments for it, I will discuss Hofweber’s argument against and explain why it fails. Next, I will introduce a (...)
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  • A Radical Relationist Solution to the Problem of Intentional Inexistence.Andrea Marchesi - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):7509-7534.
    The problem of intentional inexistence arises because the following (alleged) intuitions are mutually conflicting: it seems that sometimes we think about things that do not exist; it seems that intentionality is a relation between a thinker and what such a thinker thinks about; it seems that relations entail the existence of what they relate. In this paper, I argue for what I call a radical relationist solution. First, I contend that the extant arguments for the view that relations entail the (...)
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  • Encoding in Conceivability-Contexts: Zalta’s Theory of Intentionality Versus Bourgeois-Gironde’s Notion of Quasi-Encoding.Valentina Luporini - 2022 - Metaphysica 23 (2):341-367.
    In, the author proposes a survey of Zalta’s Object Theory and, more specifically, of the Modal Axiom of Encoding. MAE claims that if something x possibly encodes a property F, then x necessarily encodes F. According to Bourgeois-Gironde, MAE fails to account for intentional phenomena which occur in conceivability-contexts. His solution is based on the notion of quasi-encoding: x quasi-encodes F iff x possibly encodes F. In this paper, I show that Bourgeois-Gironde’s concern is misguided and that Zalta’s framework captures (...)
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  • Perspectivism and Special Relativity.Mahdi Khalili - 2021 - Teorie Vědy / Theory of Science 43 (2):191-217.
    The special theory of relativity holds significant interest for scientific perspectivists. In this paper, I distinguish between two related meanings of “perspectival,” and argue that reference frames are perspectives, provided that perspectival means “being conditional” rather than “being partial.” Frame-dependent properties such as length, time duration, and simultaneity, are not partially measured in a reference frame, but their measurements are conditional on the choice of frame. I also discuss whether the constancy of the speed of light depends on perspectival factors (...)
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  • Negative Properties—Negative Objects?David Hommen - 2018 - Acta Analytica 33 (4):395-412.
    This paper starts with the presentation of an Aristotelian theory of negative properties. Against this backdrop, it then asks whether there could be objects that have solely negative properties, i.e., completely negative objects. This possibility is entertained by Wittgenstein in his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. The notion of a completely negative object is compared to the concepts of a nonexistent object, a nonconcrete object, and a nonactual object. Ultimately, it is argued that there can be no completely negative objects, because all negative (...)
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  • The Question of Fiction – Nonexistent Objects, a Possible World Response From Paul Ricoeur.Noel Fitzpatrick - 2016 - Kairos 17 (1):137-153.
    The question of fiction is omnipresent within the work of Paul Ricoeur throughout his prolific career. However, Ricoeur raises the questions of fiction in relation to other issues such the symbol, metaphor and narrative. This article sets out to foreground a traditional problem of fiction and logic, which is termed the existence of non-existent objects, in relation to the Paul Ricoeur’s work on narrative. Ricoeur’s understanding of fiction takes place within his overall philosophical anthropology where the fictions and histories make (...)
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  • Hyperintensionality and Normativity.Federico L. G. Faroldi - 2019 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer Verlag.
    Presenting the first comprehensive, in-depth study of hyperintensionality, this book equips readers with the basic tools needed to appreciate some of current and future debates in the philosophy of language, semantics, and metaphysics. After introducing and explaining the major approaches to hyperintensionality found in the literature, the book tackles its systematic connections to normativity and offers some contributions to the current debates. The book offers undergraduate and graduate students an essential introduction to the topic, while also helping professionals in related (...)
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  • A Semantic Challenge to Non-Realist Cognitivism.David Copp - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (3-4):569-591.
    Recently, some philosophers have attempted to escape familiar challenges to orthodox nonnaturalist normative realism by abandoning the robust metaphysical commitments of the orthodox view. One such view is the ‘Non-Metaphysical Non-Naturalism’ or ‘Non-Realist Cognitivism’ proposed by Derek Parfit and a few others. The trouble is that, as it stands, Non-Realist Cognitivism seems unable to provide a substantive non-trivial account of the meaning and truth conditions of moral claims. The paper considers various strategies one might use to address the challenge. There (...)
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  • Referential Opacity and Epistemic Logic.Saloua Chatti - 2011 - Logica Universalis 5 (2):225-247.
    Referential opacity is the failure of substitutivity of identity (SI, for short) and in Quine’s view of existential generalization (EG, for short) as well. Quine thinks that its “solution” in epistemic and doxastic contexts, which relies on the notion of exportation, leads to undesirable results. But epistemic logicians such as Jaakko Hintikka and Wolfgang Lenzen provide another solution based on a different diagnosis: opacity is not, as in Quine’s view, due to the absence of reference, it is rather due to (...)
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  • Modal Noneism: Transworld Identity, Identification, and Individuation.Francesco Berto - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Logic 11 (2).
    Noneism a is form of Meinongianism, proposed by Richard Routley and developed and improved by Graham Priest in his widely discussed book Towards Non-Being. Priest's noneism is based upon the double move of building a worlds semantics including impossible worlds, besides possible ones, and admitting a new comprehension principle for objects, differerent from the ones proposed in other kinds of neo-Meinongian theories, such as Parsons' and Zalta's. The new principle has no restrictions on the sets of properties that can deliver (...)
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  • Reality in Perspectives.Mahdi Khalili - 2022 - Dissertation, VU University Amsterdam
    This dissertation is about human knowledge of reality. In particular, it argues that scientific knowledge is bounded by historically available instruments and theories; nevertheless, the use of several independent instruments and theories can provide access to the persistent potentialities of reality. The replicability of scientific observations and experiments allows us to obtain explorable evidence of robust entities and properties. The dissertation includes seven chapters. It also studies three cases – namely, Higgs bosons and hypothetical Ϝ-particles (section 2.4), the Ptolemaic and (...)
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  • Ontological Pluralism About Non-Being.Sarah Bernstein - 2021 - In Sara Bernstein & Tyron Goldschmidt (eds.), Non-being: New Essays on the Metaphysics of Nonexistence. Oxford University Press. pp. 1-16.
    I develop ontological pluralism about non-being, the view that there are multiple ways, kinds, or modes of non-being. I suggest that the view is both more plausible and defensible than it first seems, and that it has many useful applications across a wide variety of metaphysical and explanatory problems. After drawing out the relationship between pluralism about being and pluralism about non-being, I discuss quantificational strategies for the pluralist about non-being. I examine historical precedent for the view. Finally, I suggest (...)
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  • Nothing.Naomi Thompson - manuscript
    In this dissertation I suggest an answer to the famous question ‘why is there something rather than nothing?’ I argue that there is something because there could not have been nothing. The focus of my discussion is the empty possible world of metaphysical nihilism, and the first chapter is a rejection of the only prominent argument for that position; the subtraction argument. In the second part of my discussion I construct a positive argument against metaphysical nihilism, I assume, as is (...)
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  • The Routledge Handbook of Franz Brentano and the Brentano School.Uriah Kriegel (ed.) - 2017 - London and New York: Routledge.
    Both through his own work and that of his students, Franz Clemens Brentano had an often underappreciated influence on the course of 20 th - and 21 st -century philosophy. _The Routledge Handbook of Franz Brentano and the Brentano School_ offers full coverage of Brentano’s philosophy and his influence. It contains 38 brand-new essays from an international team of experts that offer a comprehensive view of Brentano’s central research areas—philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and value theory—as well as of the principal (...)
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  • Existence as a Real Property: The Ontology of Meinongianism.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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  • Alexius Meinong.Johann Marek - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Neo-Quinean and Neo-Aristotelian Metaontology : On Explanation, Theory Choice, and the Viability of Ontological Inquiry.Micheál Vincent Lacey - unknown
    This thesis is an exercise in comparative metaontology. I am centrally concerned with how one might choose between competing metaontological theories. To make my project tractable, I compare two contemporary metaontological approaches dominant in the literature: neo-Quineanism and neo-Aristotelianism. Peter van Inwagen, a representative of N-Q, claims that ontological inquiry should be conducted in the quantifier-variable idiom of first-order predicate logic; to know what exists, or what a theory says exists, we read our commitments off the regimented sentences that we (...)
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  • Content Disjunctivism and the Perception of Appearances.Martin A. Lipman - 2021 - Philosophers' Imprint 21 (18).
    Content disjunctivism is the view that veridical experience involves contents and objects that differ from those of corresponding hallucinations. On one formulation of this view, we are aware of ordinary material things in our surroundings when we experience veridically, and we are aware of mere appearances when we hallucinate. This paper proposes a way of developing this view and offers some considerations in support. Central to the proposed regimentation will be a distinction between different notions of appearance. We distinguish between (...)
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  • Meinongian Merits and Maladies.Samuel Hoadley-Brill - manuscript
    According to what has long been the dominant school of thought in analytic meta-ontology––defended not only by W. V. O. Quine, but also by Bertrand Russell, Alvin Plantinga, Peter van Inwagen, and many others––the meaning of ‘there is’ is identical to the meaning of ‘there exists.’ The most (in)famous aberration from this view is advanced by Alexius Meinong, whose ontological picture has endured extensive criticism (and borderline abuse) from several subscribers to the majority view. Meinong denies the identity of being (...)
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  • Guise Theory Revisited.Francesco Orilia - 2013 - Humana Mente 6 (25).
    Castañeda’s guise theory is a peculiarly interesting Neo-Meinongian approach, in virtue of its bundle-theoretic and anti-representationalist features. But it also has some problematic aspects. It crucially relies on a series of sameness relations, such as consubstantiation or consociation, but this list is incomplete. Moreover, guise theory is hindered by its view of the sameness relations as forms of predication alternative to what may be called, following Plantinga, standard predication. This paper thus proposes a revised version of guise theory that acknowledges (...)
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  • Modal Meinongianism and Actuality.Francesco Berto - 2013 - Humana Mente 6 (25).
    Modal Meinongianism is the most recent neo-Meinongian theory. Its main innovation consists in a Comprehension Principle which, unlike other neo-Meinongian approaches, seemingly avoids limitations on the properties that can characterize objects. However, in a recent paper A. Sauchelli has raised an objection against modal Meinongianism, to the effect that properties and relations involving reference to worlds at which they are instantiated, and specifically to the actual world or parts thereof, force a limitation of its Comprehension Principle. The theory, thus, is (...)
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  • Meaning, Autonomy, Symbolic Causality, and Free Will.Russ Abbott - 2018 - Review of General Psychology 22 (1):85-94.
    As physical entities that translate symbols into physical actions, computers offer insights into the nature of meaning and agency. • Physical symbol systems, generically known as agents, link abstractions to material actions. The meaning of a symbol is defined as the physical actions an agent takes when the symbol is encountered. • An agent has autonomy when it has the power to select actions based on internal decision processes. Autonomy offers a partial escape from constraints imposed by direct physical influences (...)
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  • A Puzzle for Modal Realism.Daniel Graham Marshall - 2016 - Philosophers' Imprint 16.
    Modal realists face a puzzle. For modal realism to be justified, modal realists need to be able to give a successful reduction of modality. A simple argument, however, appears to show that the reduction they propose fails. In order to defend the claim that modal realism is justified, modal realists therefore need to either show that this argument fails, or show that modal realists can give another reduction of modality that is successful. I argue that modal realists cannot do either (...)
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  • JSE 31:3 Editorial.Stephen Braude - 2017 - Journal of Scientific Exploration 31 (3).
    I’ve often noticed how debates within the SSE community sometimes parallel debates in the political arena, perhaps especially with respect to the passion they elicit and the intolerance and condescension sometimes lavished on members of the “opposition.” Occasionally, of course, the debates in the SSE are nearly indistinguishable from those in the political arena—say, over the evidence for human-caused climate change. But what I find most striking is how the passion, intolerance, etc.—perhaps most often displayed by those defending whatever the (...)
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  • Rigidez, esencialismo y actualismo en los términos referenciales para clases naturales.Rafael Miranda Rojas - 2011 - Discusiones Filosóficas 12 (19):181 - 198.
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