On modal Meinongianism

Synthese 193 (10) (2016)
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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 in Towards Non-being, tell us something different. According to certain models, there are true contradictions in the actual world. Berto and Priest have noticed this unexpected consequence and have suggested a solution, but I will show that their solution is highly questionable. In the last section of this paper, I will introduce a new and simpler version of modal Meinongianism that avoids the problem

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Thibaut Giraud
Institut Jean Nicod


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