Tuesday, November 12, 2019

On Meinong

A little bit of Wikipedia's Meinong for my thinking . . . Meinong holds that objects can be divided into three categories on the basis on their ontological status. Objects have one of the following three modalities of being and non-being:

1. Existence: the material and temporal being of an object.

2. Subsistence: the being of an object in a non-temporal sense.

3. Absistence: being-given, which denotes being an object but not having being.

Certain objects can exist (mountains, birds, and so on); others cannot in principle ever exist, such as the objects of mathematics (numbers, theorems, and so on): such objects simply subsist. Finally, a third class of objects cannot even subsist, such as impossible objects (e.g., square circle, wooden iron, and so on). Being-given is not a minimal mode of being, because it is not a mode of being at all. Rather, to be "given" is just to be an object. Being-given, termed "absistence," is better thought of as a mode of non-being than as a mode of being.

Absistence, unlike existence and subsistence, does not have a negation; everything absists. (Note that all objects absist, while some subset of these subsist, of which a yet-smaller subset exist.) The result that everything absists allows Meinong to deal with our ability to affirm the non-being object. Its absistence is evidenced by our act of intending it, which is logically prior to our denying that it has being.

Much of that doesn't mean much to me, but more another time . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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