Chapter

To Be and/or Not to Be

Peter Simons and David Bell

in Categories of Being

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199890576
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199980031 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199890576.003.0011
To Be and/or Not to Be

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Meinong’s theory of objects and Husserl’s formal ontology are divergent but cognate responses to Brentano’s flawed theory of intentional inexistence. While Meinong emphasized objects and their variety, Husserl emphasized contents and their variety. Their theories agree on many salient issues both of phenomenology and ontology. Meinong, like Twardowski, upheld the objectuality of all intentional acts, and was therefore constrained to seek objects for acts lacking standard objects. Husserl by contrast rejects non-existents and explains the same phenomena by saying such lack objects but are phenomenologically indistinguishable from acts that have objects. This is modified by Husserl’s later theory of noemata on the one hand and Meinong’s recognition of the semantic role of incomplete auxiliary objects on the other. As a result, their theories materially converged. This chapter charts their principal convergences and disagreements and portrays them both as independent continuers of Brentano’s messianic drive to establish a scientific philosophy.

Keywords: objectuality; formal ontology; intentionality; Brentano; Meinong; Husserl; noemata

Chapter.  7229 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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