University of Liège Philosophy Department

Center for Phenomenological Research

Objects and Pseudo-Objects. Ontological deserts and jungles from Meinong to Carnap

International conference, University of Liège, May 15-16, 2012.

Room: Tuesday and Wednesday morning: Salle de l'Horloge (Place du Vingt-Août 7, Central Building, Jesuits Wing, 2d mezzanine). Wednesday afternoon: Salle Lumière (A1/2/Com1; Place du Vingt-Août 7, Central Building, 2d floor).

The development of new theories of representation, meaning, and judgement in the late 19th century gave rise, in the first three decades of the 20th century, to a profound renewal of ontological concerns. The question, somewhat crudely, was how far one can legitimately speak of objects and how to discriminate between objects and pseudo-objects. The conference aims to explore the controversies on semantic entities from a historical perspective. The focus will be on the following three aspects:

(1) The "luxurious" theories of object originating in Brentano's theory of intentionality (Twardowski, Meinong, Husserl, Mally, Reinach, Ingarden, etc.) and the nominalistic or reistic reactions they provoked (Lesniewski, Kotarbinski, and Brentano himself).

(2) The ontological purge launched by Frege and Russell and its repercussions, beginning with the Vienna Circle.

(3) The neo-Kantian attempts at a "critical" definition of objectivity in terms of the theory of judgment.

Detailed presentation [167 Kb] - Poster [167 Kb]


Invited speakers:

Organizing committee:

R. Brisart (FUSL, University of Luxemburg), B. Leclercq (ULg), M. Peeters (ULB), S. Richard (ULB), D. Seron (ULg, FNRS)


d.seron[a] • Tel. +32 (0)4 366 55 93