Open Problems

  • Francesco Berto
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 356)


Our modal Meinongian theory faces difficulties and open questions too. Being so recent a theory, its critical discussion is still in its infancy. This Chapter is devoted to problems that have surfaced, proposing in broad outline strategies to address them. The discussion will at times prove to be inconclusive, however. I hope to do better when, and if, I find the time to write an Existence As a Real Property, Part II. The main aim of this Chapter is indeed explorative: it helps to locate the immediate troubles of a new research program (and I do find modal Meinongianism quite innovative in the landscape of non-Parmenidean ontologies); and suggests possible ways to protect its core ideas.


Actual World Abstract Object Causal Power Fictional Character Concrete Object 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Baker L.R. [1997], “Why Constituton is Not Identity”, Journal of Philosophy, 94, pp. 599–621.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Balaguer M. [1995], “A Platonist Epistemology”, Synthese, 103, pp. 303–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Berto F. [2010], “Impossible Worlds and Propositions: Against the Parity Thesis”, The Philosophical Quarterly, 60, pp. 471–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Black M. [1952], “The Identity of Indiscernibles”, Mind, 61, pp. 152–64.Google Scholar
  5. Boër S.E., Lycan W. [1986], Knowing Who, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
  6. Burgess J., Rosen G. [1997], A Subject With No Object, Oxford U.P., Oxford.Google Scholar
  7. Carrara M. [2001], Impegno ontologico e criteri d’identità. Un’analisi, CLEUP, Padua.Google Scholar
  8. Deutsch H. [1991], “The Creation Problem”, Topoi, 10, pp. 209–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Divers J. [2002], Possible Worlds, Routledge, London-New York.Google Scholar
  10. Dupre [1993], The Disorder of Things: Metaphysical Foundations of the Disunity of Science, Harvard UP, Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
  11. Fine K. [1982], “The Problem of Non-Existents, I: Internalism”, Topoi, 1, pp. 97–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fine K. [1984], “Critical Review of Parsons’ Nonexistent Objects”, Philosophical Studies, 45, pp. 94–142.Google Scholar
  13. Fitting M, Mendelsohn R.L. [1998], First-Order Modal Logic, Kluwer, Dordrecht.Google Scholar
  14. French S., Krause D. [1995], “Vague Identity and Quantum Non-Individuality”, Analysis, 55, pp. 20–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hale B. [1987], Abstract Objects, Basil Blackwell, Oxford.Google Scholar
  16. Hunter D. [1981], “Reference and Meinongian Objects”, Grazer Philosophische Studien, 14, pp. 23–36.Google Scholar
  17. Jeshion R. [2002], “Acquanitanceless De Re Belief”, in Campbell, O'Rourke and Shier [2002] (eds.), Meaning and truth. Investigations in Philosophical Semantics, Seven Bridges Press, New York, pp. 53–78.Google Scholar
  18. Johnston M. [1992], “Constitution is Not Identity”, Mind, 101, pp. 89–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jubien M. [1996], “The Myth of Identity Conditions”, Philosophical Perspectives, 10, pp. 343–56.Google Scholar
  20. Kaplan D. [1969], “Quantifying In”, in Linsky [1971] (ed), Reference and Modality, Oxford U.P., Oxford, pp. 112–44.Google Scholar
  21. Kaplan D. [1973], “Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice”, in J. Hintikka et al. [1973] (eds.), Approaches to Natural Language, Reidel, Dordrecht, pp. 490–518.Google Scholar
  22. Kripke S. [1972], Naming and Necessity, in Davidson and Harman [1972] (eds.), Semantics of Natural Language, Reidel, Dordrecht, pp. 253–355 and 762–9, 2nd, expanded ed., Blackwell, Oxford 1980.Google Scholar
  23. Kripke S. [1978], Time and Identity, unpublished MS.Google Scholar
  24. Ladyman J. [2005], “Mathematical Structuralism and the Identity of Indiscernibles”, Analysis, 65, pp. 218–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Levey S. [1997], “Coincidence and Principles of Composition”, Analysis, 57, pp. 1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lewis D.K. [1986], On the Plurality of Worlds, Blackwell, Oxford.Google Scholar
  27. Lewis D.K. [1990], “Noneism or Allism?”, Mind, 99, pp. 23–31.Google Scholar
  28. Linsky B., Zalta E. [1994], “In Defense of the Simplest Quantified Modal Logic”, Philosophical Perspectives, 8, pp. 431–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Linsky B., Zalta E. [1996], “In Defense of the Contingently Nonconcrete”, Philosophical Studies, 84, pp. 283–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Loux M.J. [1978], Substance and Attribute, Reidel, Dordrecht.Google Scholar
  31. Mares E. [1997], “Who’s Afraid of Impossible Worlds?”, Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, 38, pp. 516–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Menzies P. [2008], “Counterfactual Theories of Causation”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, CSLI, Stanford, Ca., Scholar
  33. Nolan D. [1997], “Impossible Worlds: a Modest Approach”, Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, 38, pp. 535–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Olson E. [2001], “Material Coincidence and the Indiscernibility Problem”, Philosophical Quarterly, 51, pp. 337–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Parsons C. [1979], “Mathematical Intuition”, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 80, pp. 145–68.Google Scholar
  36. Parsons C. [1993], “On Some Difficulties Concerning Intuition and Intuitive Knowledge”, Mind, 102, pp. 233–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Parsons T. [1980], Nonexistent Objects, Yale U.P., New Haven, Conn.Google Scholar
  38. Priest G. [2005], Towards non-Being. The Logic and Metaphysics of Intentionality, Oxford U.P., Oxford.Google Scholar
  39. Priest G. [2010], “Creating Nonexistents: Some Initial Thoughts”, unpublished MS.Google Scholar
  40. Rea M. [1997] (ed.), Material Constitution: a Reader, Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham.Google Scholar
  41. Rosen G. [2001], “Abstract Objects”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, CSLI, Stanford, Ca., Scholar
  42. Routley R. [1982], “On What There Is -- Not”, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 43, pp. 151–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Ryle G. [1973], “Intentionality-Theory and the Nature of Thinking”, Revue Internationale de Philosophie, 26, pp. 255–64.Google Scholar
  44. Sainsbury M. [2010], Fiction and Fictionalism, Routledge, London & New York.Google Scholar
  45. Salmon N. [1987], “Existence”, Philosophical Perspectives, 1, pp. 49–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Salmon N. [1998], “Nonexistence”, Noûs, 32, pp. 277–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Severino E. [1958], La struttura originaria, La Scuola, Brescia, 2nd, expanded edition Adelphi, Milan 1981.Google Scholar
  48. Severino E. [1972], Essenza del nichilismo, Paideia, Brescia, 2nd, expanded edition, Adelphi, Milan 1995.Google Scholar
  49. Sider T. [1999b], “Global Supervenience and Identity Across Times and Worlds”, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 59, pp. 913–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Strawson P.F. [1997], Entity & Identity and Other Essays, Oxford U.P., Oxford.Google Scholar
  51. Tarca L.V. [2001], Differenza e negazione. Per una filosofia positiva, La città del sole, Naples.Google Scholar
  52. Thomson J.J. [1998], “The Statue and the Clay”, Noûs, 32, pp. 149–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Wiggins D. [1980], Sameness and Substance, Blackwell, Oxford, 2nd expanded edition, Sameness and Substance Reneved, Cambridge UP, Cambridge 2001.Google Scholar
  54. Williamson T. [1990b], “Necessary Identity and Necessary Existence”, in Haller and Brandl [1990] (eds.), Wittgenstein: Towards a Re-Evaluation, Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky, Vienna, pp. 168–75.Google Scholar
  55. Williamson T. [1998], “Bare Possibilia”, Erkenntnis, 48, pp. 257–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Wright C. [1983], Frege's Conception of Numbers as Objects, Aberdeen UP, Aberdeen.Google Scholar
  57. Yagisawa T. [1988], “Beyond Possible Worlds”, Philosophical Studies, 53, pp. 175–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesco Berto
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and Northern Institute of PhilosophyUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenUK

Personalised recommendations