Psychological Themes in the School of Alexius Meinong

International Conference, Liège (Belgium) and Urbino (Italy).

The idea

Alexius Meinong and the members of his school are best known for having opened up a new area of investigation called the 'object theory'. The logical and metaphysical implications of this theory attracted much attention within the last decades. Yet comparatively little is known about the psychological background against which the object theory emerged. It is true that Meinong himself soon came to conceive of the object theory as a completely autonomous discipline. Still, the psychological analysis of our mental states seems to have been a privileged pathway to the so-called 'mere object' of the object theory. Moreover, Meinong and his students arguably share the view (notably held by Franz Brentano) that the rise of a scientific philosophy first and foremost requires psychological-descriptive investigations. Consequently, it is no surprise that they ran descriptive and experimental analyses which gave rise to a number of psychology-based theories, including the theory of assumptions, the value theory, the theory of knowledge, or the theory of relations.

Stressing the philosophical significance of such psychological investigations, the conference aims at exploring the various connexions between the object theory, the researches led in the Graz psychological laboratory, and the psychology-based theories supported in the Meinong school. A special focus will be put on the articulation between psychological or phenomenological description, psychological experimentation and conceptual analysis.

The conference takes place within the framework of a collaboration project involving the University of Liège and the University of Urbino "Carlo Bo". It will be held in two distinct sessions, one hosted by the University of Liège and another hosted by the University of Urbino. Organisation: Arnaud Dewalque (ULg), Venanzio Raspa (UniUrb) and Aurélien Zincq (F.R.S.-FNRS/ULg).


There are few places left for additional presentations at the Liège session. We invite submission of abstracts on any topic relevant to the conference theme. Proposals on the suggested topics below are particularly welcome. The main language of the conference will be English, but presentations in French will also be accepted. Each presentation won't exceed 40-45 minutes reading time and will be followed by 15 minutes discussion. Accommodation fees will be funded for all the participants. Selected papers are expected to be published in the conference proceedings. Abstracts and proposed titles should be send to a.dewalque(a) no latter than February 29, 2016.

Suggested topics

Investigated topics will include (but won't be limited to):

  1. The place of the Graz laboratory in the history of psychology
  2. The relationship between Meinong's object theory and Brentano's descriptive psychology
  3. The role of experimentation in descriptive investigations
  4. The alleged autonomy of the object theory with respect to psychology
  5. The classification of mental phenomena and its philosophical implications
  6. The relevance of psychological investigations for Value Theory and Aesthetics
  7. The nature of assumptions
  8. Etc.

Important Dates


Arnaud Dewalque, Aurélien Zincq

1st Session: 26-27 May 2016


University of Liège (Belgium), Salle de l'horloge (access through the ground floor, Main Building)


Thursday, May 26th 2016

Friday, May 27th 2016

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2nd Session: 10-11 November 2016


University of Urbino "Carlo Bo" (Italy), Palazzo Albani, Via Timoteo Viti 10, Aula C5.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Friday, November 11, 2016

» Poster