Meinongian Semantics Generalized

Grazer Philosophische Studien 50:145-161 (1995)
It is tempting to think that Meinong overlooked the "specific/nonspecific" distinction. For example, 'I am looking for a grey horse' may either mean that there is a specific horse I am looking for (e.g. one I lost), or just that I am grey-horse-seeking. The former reading, and not the latter, requires for its truth that there be a grey horse. The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether it is defensible to maintain Meinong's theory here: to take nonspecific reading of any verb concerning a possibly non-existent but incomplete object. This requires essential appeal to the distinction between nuclear and extranuclear properties. Included is a discussion of criticisms of Meinong's own theory, and of the Medieval theory of ampliation, according to which psychological discourse can "ampliate" a term such as 'chimera' so as to stand for one or more things that cannot exist, yet are chimeras. The paper concludes inconclusively
Keywords Analytic Philosophy
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DOI 10.5840/gps1995508
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