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Grazer Philosophische Studien

Volume 1, 1975

David W. Smith
Pages 43-71

Meinongian Objects

Meinong's object theory is primarily motivated by the needs of intentionality theory. I argue that Meinongian objects must be intensional entities if, as asked, they are to serve as the objects of thought in a purely object-theoretic account of intentionality. For Meinong, incomplete objects are the proper objects of thought. Complete objects are beyond our grasp; we apprehend them as best we can when we intend incomplete objects embedded in them. This yields, on a semantic plane, an account of failures or substitutivity of identity in intentional contexts. And this, I argue, forces incomplete objects to be intensional, and so therefore are complete objects.

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