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Meinongian Metaontology and the paradox of negative existentials

Grant number: 22/00112-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2022
Effective date (End): August 08, 2024
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - Metaphysics
Principal Investigator:Marco Antonio Caron Ruffino
Grantee:Renato Semaniuc Valvassori
Host Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):22/13928-0 - Meinongian metaontology and the paradox of negative existentials, BE.EP.MS


This project aims to analyze the contemporary dispute between neo-quineans and neo-meinongians, so that the student can, at the end of his research, take a stand in this debate and see what is the best solution to the so-called paradox of negative existentials - which synthesizes the conflict between these two philosophical strands. At the heart of the dispute to be studied is the quinean thesis according to which quantifying over a certain domain of objects, especially in scientific contexts, ontologically commits us to the existence of such objects. Different meinongian approaches question this idea and tend to accept that our best scientific or philosophical theories can also quantify over non-existent objects.This metaontological dispute directly affects several areas of the philosophy of language and metaphysics, especially impacting our theories about intentionality, the way we conceive truth-makers, how we interpret fictional discourses, and how we understand abstract objects.The intended research will study the main theories and arguments of neo-meinongian theorists, such as Graham Priest and Franz Berto - defenders of the so-called Modal Meinongianism -, Dale Jacquette - adept of Nuclear Meinongianism - and Edward Zalta, main theorist of the strand called Dual-Copula Meinongianism - , and verifying whether they not only manage to satisfactorily answer the objections of neoquineans, but also examine whether the explanatory power of their theories is equivalent or superior to those of neoquineans.

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