Post Number:#16 January 2nd, 2011, 10:22 am
I’ve read some Meinong. But whether I’ve read his stuff or not is completely irrelevant to the argument I made. I made an argument against Meinongianism, and I stated exactly what position I was arguing against. Repeatedly. Crystal clear. I’m not making an argument against something that Meinong said. I’m not saying: “Meinong says X, I disagree, and here’s why”. So, whether I read Meinong or not is irrelevant to the argument I made.
So, you're arguing against "Meinongianism" while ignoring Meinong? [I’M ARGUING AGAINST MEINONGIANISM AND NOT IGNORING MEINONG. I MIGHT AS WELL BE IGNORING YOUR SISTER. IT’S AS RELEVANT AS ME “IGNORING” MEINONG. IGNORING IS SOMETHING YOU DO INTENTIONALLY. IF I DON’T HEAR WHAT YOU’RE SAYING, I DON’T IGNORE YOU. IF I INTENTIONALLY DON’T LISTEN TO WHAT YOU’RE SAYING, THEN I IGNORE YOU. I DON’T INTENTIONALLY NOT LISTEN TO OR ADDRESS MEINONG. IT’S COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT TO THE ARGUMENT I MADE. THE ARGUMENT I MADE IS AGAINST MEINONG. THIS IS A VERY SIMPLE POINT] You provide a shallow caricature of the position and throw a bunch or words at it, calling those words "refutation." [NOT TRUE. DIDN’T CARICATURE MEINONG AT ALL. MADE AN ARGUMENT AGAINST MEINONGIANISM] If you wish to refute the position of a philosopher, YOU NEED TO KNOW WHAT THAT POSITION IS. Otherwise, you're just tilting at straw men. [NOT TRUE. NOT REFUTING MEINONG. MADE AN ARGUMENT AGAINST MEINONGIANISM. NO STRAW MAN COMMITTED.]
You are confusing the position that I am arguing against with arguments that I make against the position. You’re treating them all as claims I make, when they’re not. If you disagree with the argument I made, refute it. Make an argument against some of the premises.
I have. I have demonstrated that your use of "nonexistence" as a predicate is equivocal and incoherent. [THE USE OF NONEXISTENCE IS MADE BY MEINONGIANISM. I ASSUMED WHAT MEINONGIANISM SAID WAS TRUE, AND MADE AN ARGUMENT AGAINST IT BASED ON THAT. SIMPLE] If you have other premises you feel will circumvent this flaw, express clearly and concisely what those premises are, and I may argue against them as well.
You’re just adding a new predicate to the discussion, “being”. If you can’t specify what it is, then it’s just a noise or a mark without meaning. And we can just ignore it. So, what is being? Suppose x has being. How’s that different from x having existence?
No, I'm clarifying the terms of the discussion. And I have made quite clear what "being" and "existence" are, and how they differ. [NO YOU DIDN’T] Your refusal to attempt to understand this is beyond my power to alter. [NO REFUSAL MADE. BECAUSE NO SPECIFICATION MADE]
The fact that we can talk about Bilbo does not establish that Bilbo exists (or that he has being, whatever that is). For one thing: when we are talking about Bilbo, we are talking about the fictional character Bilbo. And the fictional character Bilbo is not the same as Bilbo. How are they different? The fictional character Bilbo exists; Bilbo doesn’t. Well, what’s the difference in the way the fictional character Bilbo exists, and the way Bilbo would exist if he did exist. The fictional character Bilbo exists according to a story; if Bilbo did exist, he would exist independently of any story. In this respect, Bilbo would be just like us. The existence of a fictional character is parasitic on the existence of individuals who exist independently of any story. Specifically, the existence of the fictional character depends on individuals having certain mental states: that we have certain beliefs about what a Bilbo is, according to the story, and what features a Bilbo has, according to the story. In fact, saying “a fictional character exists” is just a loose way of speaking. Strictly speaking, the fictional character doesn’t exist. What exists are our beliefs about what a character is, according to a story.
Okay, so if these objects (fictional characters) do not exist, and only our beliefs about them do, how is it possible for these beliefs to be false? [BELIEFS WOULD BE FALSE ACCORDING TO THE STORY. IF I SAID CAPTAIN KIRK IS A SERIAL RAPIST, THAT CLAIM WOULD BE FALSE ACCORDING TO THE ORIGINAL STAR TREK SERIES] If all that exists of Bilbo Baggins is my beliefs about him, and I believe that he has six fingers on his right hand, what ground does anyone have for claiming that my beliefs are incorrect? [DEPENDS ON WHAT THE STORY SAYS. IF THE STORY DOESN’T EXPLICITLY SAY, THEN IT’S PROBABLY OPEN TO INTERPRETATION AND DEBATE. NOT SURE HOW TO RESOLVE DEBATES WHEN THE STORY DOESN’T EXPLICITLY INDICATE THAT SO-AND-SO HAS A CERTAIN PROPERTY] If there is no object independent of the beliefs on which these beliefs are based, how can they be false? [FALSE ACCORDING TO THE STORY]