Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Meinong's Jungle

Here's a limerick I wrote last November, but with at least one changed word that I'll explain after you read the poem:

Pound Perambulates

Once as he ambled through Meinong’s odd jungle,
Extra encountered there a great bungle
of two or three or five or four
ontically unwanted objects or more,
adding up to as much as a pungle!

I changed mungle to pungle, because the word "mungle" turned out to have a gutter-level meaning that I never intended. The word "pungle" is a bit odd, but it's not obscene.

Alexius Meinong thought that since we can refer to non-existent things, they have some sort of being. A unicorn is a non-existent thing, but we can refer to a unicorn as a horse-like being having a single horn growing from its forehead. Non-existent things like unicorns therefore have various properties though they lack "being" proper.

The oddness of such non-existent things led to this ontological realm being referred to as "Meinong's jungle."


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