DO MEINONG'S IMPOSSIBLE OBJECTS ENTAIL CONTRADICTIONS?
Abstract:Meinong's theory of objects commits him to impossiblia: objects which have contradictory properties. Russell famously objected that these impossiblia were apt to infringe the law of noncontradiction. Meinong's defenders have often relied upon the distinction between internal and external negation, a defense that only works against less exotic impossiblia. The more exotic impossiblia fall victim to an argument that uses an intuitively attractive logical principle similar to the abstraction principle, but which is not subject to Russell's paradox. The upshot is that things are not as bad as Russell claims. Some impossiblia don't entail contradictions. Nevertheless, things are still disastrous for Meinong. Some of his impossiblia do entail contradictions.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2001