- 'There Is an 'Is' in 'There Is'': Meinongian Quantification and Existence
- Book title
- Quantifiers, Quantifiers, and Quantifiers: Themes in Logic, Metaphysics, and Language
- Pages (from-to)
- Dordrecht: Springer
- Synthèse Library
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
Interfacultary Research Institutes
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC)
Against the mainstream Quinean meta-ontology, Meinongians claim: "There are things that do not exist". It is sometimes said that the "there are" in that sentence expresses "Meinongian quantification". I consider two supposedly knockdown meta-ontological objections to Meinongianism from the literature: (1) an objection from equivocation, to the effect that the view displays a conceptual or semantic misunderstanding, probably of quantificational expressions; and (2) an objection from analyticity, to the effect that that sentence is Frege-analytically false i.e., it is synonymous with a logical falsity. Objection (1) is countered via a development of Williamson’s argument against epistemic conceptions of analyticity. Objection (2), which points at alleged linguistic evidence, is countered by resorting to linguistic counter-evidence. The upshot is a set-up of the debate between Quineans and Meinongians, in which the two parties disagree on substantive matters concerning de re the property of existence, taken as a natural property in the Lewis-Sider sense; and in which quick alleged refutations, such as objections from meaning-variance or analytic falsehood, rarely achieve their expected results.
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