This from a recent comment by Ed, see article below:
I am starting with a few claims, with the additional claim that the claims are Moorean. Not only do I claim we use fictional or empty names to tell people which individual we are talking about, I claim that this is uncontroversial. Developing a theory to explain the apparent contractions that arise from these Moorean facts is more difficult. But that's the business of philosophy: start with facts that are apparently uncontroversial, move to the contradictions that appear to arise from them, and uncover the hidden assumptions or premisses that lead to the contradictions. Deduce the falsity of the hidden premisses. We have already stumbled across one hidden premiss, hardly noticing it. We agree that the sentence " 'Frodo' refers to Frodo" is relational in form. That's also Moorean. But does it follow that a sentence which is relational in form, really expresses a relation?
So in overall summary. It is Moorean that there aren't and never were such things as hobbits, and hence never such persons as Frodo, Bilbo, Sam, Smeagol. But it is also Moorean that at the end of Lord of the Rings, Tolkien tells us which hobbits carried the ring to Mount Doom, and which hobbit fell into the fiery depths of the mountain, carrying the Ring. The rest is philosophy: is there any contradiction buried in these Moorean facts, and if not, how do we explain the appearance of contradiction?
Here is my distillation of Ed's approach:
1. There are certain facts that cannot be reasonably denied. Call them 'Moorean.'
2. Reflection upon Moorean facts often brings to light certain tensions or problems or apparent contradictions.
3. The contradictions that arise when we reflect on Moorean data are merely apparent. Data cannot be contradictory. (Sentences that record data are true, and truths cannot be contradictory.)
4. The merely apparent contradictions derive from hidden assumptions that are not Moorean.
5. The task of philosophy is to solve (dissolve?) the problems by exposing and rejecting the hidden assumptions that give rise to them.
6. The task of philosophy is conservative, not revisionary. Our ordinary ways of talking and thinking are in order as they stand. Any problems that arise are due to false assumptions that we bring to the Moorean data. Apparent inconsistencies that arise when when we reflect upon Moorean data are to be explained away as merely apparent.
To illustrate via an aporetic pentad:
a. 'Frodo' (or a tokening thereof) refers to Frodo.
b. Reference is a dyadic relation.
c. Every relation is such that if one of its terms (relata) exists, then all the others do as well.
d. 'Frodo' (or a tokening thereof) exists.
e. Frodo does not exist. (He is a purely fictional item.)
(a), (d), and (e) are all Moorean or as I say, 'datanic.' (b) and (c) are in contrast theoretical. If I understand Ed, he would say that (b) and (c) are the "hidden assumptions" that generate the contradiction in the pentad. To remove the contradiction, and with it the problem, it suffices to reject one or the other of the theoretical assumptions.
I am pretty sure that Ed will reject (b). He will not, I am sure, hold to (b) and reject (c) by maintaining that an existent can stand in a genuine relation to a Meinongian nonexistent. But then Ed owes us an account of what it is for 'Frodo' to refer to or be about Frodo, as opposed to Gandalf, if reference is not a relation. I suspect that any theory he gives will involve difficulties of its own.
How does my metaphilosophy differ from Ed's?
Ed seems to think that philosophical problems such as the one embodied in the above pentad are soluble by the exposure and rejection of false assumptions such as (b) above. There is no need for such exotic posits as Meinongian nonentities or merely intentional objects. Ed seems to think that the task of philosophy is to remove confusions and puzzles that arise when philosophers import false assumptions into the data, thereby causing trouble for themselves. The Moorean data are unproblematic, and we will come to see this when we sweep aside false theoretical assumptions.
My view is entirely different. The problems are genuine, but they do not have satisfactory solutions. It is no solution simply to reject (b) above without giving a positive account of what reference or aboutness is. (b) is not a gratuitous assumption we are making, but a plausibility, despite its not being a Moorean fact. One cannot simply reject it; one must put something it its place.
So Ed needs to tell us what his positive theory is. Once he presents it in a form clear enough to be discussed, then I will show why it is unsatisfactory. And I will do that with every theory that is proposed. If I am able to pull that off, then I will have given a very good reason to regard the problem as insoluble.