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Saturday, July 21, 2012


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Good post Dr. Vallicella. I think this really gets to the heart of the issue. This reminds me of Kit Fine's well-known objection to modal characterizations of the notion of essence. He gives the example of Socrates and his singleton set. The proposition that Socrates exists is logically equivalent to the proposition that his singleton set exists, insofar as 'logical equivalence' is the same as material equivalence in all worlds. But clearly the two propositions are not the same in meaning; and certainly, in some sense, Socrates is ontologically prior and independent of his singleton, whereas his singleton is dependent on him.

More to the point, it obviously isn't *analytically* true that Meinongianism is false.

Of course, in my experience, this will be dismissed by the Quinean as unintelligible or esoteric. Only thoroughly defined notions such as supervenience are allowed. Also, someone might object that all there is to meaning is truth-conditions (I'm thinking of someone like Donald Davidson here). However, this theory is false.

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