The Status of Abstract Entities (I)

  • David O’Connor
Part of the Philosophical Studies Series in Philosophy book series (PSSP, volume 25)


In Chapter II we saw that Moore’s opposition to the idealism summed up in the esse est percipi formula can be broken down into two different stages, the first certainly being over by 1905 and the second apparent by 1910 at the latest. This same two-staged division can be applied to Moore’s work on the subject-matter of the present chapter.


True Belief Abstract Entity Real Thing Logical Subject Propositional Concept 
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  1. 3.
    Moore, ‘The Nature of Judgment’, p. 181.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Ibid., p. 177 and following.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
  4. 6.
    Moore, Principia Ethica (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1968), p. 41.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    Moore, ‘The Refutation of Idealism’, p. 17 and following.Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    Moore, The Nature of Judgment’, p. 179; also Moore, Principia Ethica, pp. 7, 17, 191–193.Google Scholar
  7. 12.
    Moore, ‘Nature of Judgment’, pp. 177–179.Google Scholar
  8. 13.
    Ibid., p. 177.Google Scholar
  9. 14.
    Ibid., p. 178.Google Scholar
  10. 15.
  11. 16.
  12. 17.
    Ibid., pp. 177, 193.Google Scholar
  13. 19.
  14. 20.
  15. 22.
  16. 23.
    Ibid., and following.Google Scholar
  17. 24.
    Ibid., p. 184 and following.Google Scholar
  18. 25.
    Ibid., p. 179.Google Scholar
  19. 26.
    Ibid., p. 180.Google Scholar
  20. 27.
  21. 29.
    Ibid., p. 179.Google Scholar
  22. 30.
    Ibid., p. 182.Google Scholar
  23. 31.
    Some Main Problems of Philosophy, p. 56.Google Scholar
  24. 32.
  25. 33.
    Ibid., p. 57.Google Scholar
  26. 34.
  27. 35.
    Ibid., pp. 60–61.Google Scholar
  28. 36.
    Ibid., p. 63; recall ‘Nature of Judgment’, p. 180.Google Scholar
  29. 37.
    Some Main Problems of Philosophy, p. 60.Google Scholar
  30. 38.
    Ibid., p. 57.Google Scholar
  31. 39.
    Ibid., pp. 62–65.Google Scholar
  32. 41.
    Ibid., p. 57.Google Scholar
  33. 42.
    See Chapter V, notes 13 and 15.Google Scholar
  34. 43.
    Some Main Problems of Philosophy, pp. 64–65.Google Scholar
  35. 44.
    Ibid., p. 63.Google Scholar
  36. 45.
    Ibid., p. 265.Google Scholar
  37. 46.
    Ibid., p. 309.Google Scholar
  38. 47.
    Ibid., p. 262.Google Scholar
  39. 48.
    Ibid., p. 265.Google Scholar
  40. 49.
  41. 50.
  42. 52.
    Some Main Problems of Philosophy, p. 56.Google Scholar
  43. 53.
    Ibid., p. 296.Google Scholar
  44. 54.
    Ibid., p. xii.Google Scholar
  45. 55.
    Moore, Tacts and Propositions’ (1927), p. 76.Google Scholar
  46. 56.
    Moore, ‘Propositions’ (circa 1948–1953), Commonplace Book, p. 375. In the lines quoted I do not think that Moore’s remark, “it is not true that if there were no instances of sentences no propositions could be believed” (Italics added.) necessarily means that Moore has reverted to the view that propositions are the objects of beliefs. It seems to me that the sentence quoted is better interpreted as a loose expression of the uncontroversial point that not infrequently we happen to believe or disbelieve what we understand or mean by some expression or other.Google Scholar
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    Some Main Problems of Philosophy, p. 290.Google Scholar
  48. 58.
    In Philosophical Papers: see pp. 104–106 especially. In this paper Moore argues for the point that references to actual existents are not the only proper kinds of references which can be made. Coupled with this position there is Moore’s rejection of the kind of rigid or scholastic application of Russell’s model of a definite description to disputes about genuine references made at the time by his fellow symposiasts, Ryle and Braithwaite. See also, Khatchadourian’s, Haig ‘Fictional Sentences’, Ratio XX, No. 2, December, 1978.Google Scholar
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    Moore, Some Main Problems of Philosophy, p. 291.Google Scholar
  50. 61.
    Relative to this see Linsky’s L. discussion of Meinong in Referring (Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1973), pp. 17–21. See also, Moore’s imaginary Objects’, p. 105 and his ‘The Conception of Reality’, Philosophical Studies, pp. 217–218.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • David O’Connor
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophySeton Hall UniversityUSA

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