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Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

Volume 46, Issue 4, 2015

Vladimir Seliverstov
Pages 213-222

Ernst Mally's Antipsychologism and His Solution of Golden Mountain Problem

This article considers the contribution of Ernst Mally to the theory of objects, namely he introduced a distinction of two types of properties (determinations) — formal and extraformal, that allowed Meinongian theory of objects to provide a satisfactory response to the criticism of Bertrand Russell, related to the question of the existence of the golden mountain. According to Meinong, object's so-being (Sosein) is logically independent of its ontic status (Sein). In this case Russell asks, how the existent golden mountain can be existent, golden and a mountain, because golden mountains do not exit (as well as round squares). So it was obvious that the independence of Sosein from Sein thesis should be revised. That's why Mally made a remark that the properties that make object's Sosein are extraformal. Later these ideas have formed the basis of the contemporary study of nonexistent objects, the basis of the theories of Terens Parsons, Richard Routley etc. In particular Parsons's distinction of nuclear and extranuclear properties is a revised version of Mally's distinction. In addition, the article analyzes Ernst Mally's critics of epistemological idealism and its connection with the famous psychologism dispute in logic and semantics in the late 19th and early 20th century. This dispute is more associated with the works of G. Frege and E. Husserl, which accused of psychologism many representatives of Brentano's School. Particularly Alexius Meinong was also called a psychologist. That's it's important to find out, which side was Mally on in this dispute.

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