Sümeyye Parildar

Gegenstandstheorie and the Medieval Discussions of Metaphysics in the Islamic World

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Avicenna, Post Avicennian Metaphysics, Meinong, Gegendstandstheorie, Universal Science, Aristotle.

Meinong’s Theory of Objects claims to replace classical metaphysics which unsuccessfully played the role of as a general science. This article evaluates this claim in the light of medieval metaphysical discussions. For this evaluation, a series of questions and concepts in Meinongian and post-Avicennian theories around existence and metaphysics are presented on parallel planes. One assumption of the article is that Avicenna (d.1037) formulated a new project for a universal science. In Avicenna’s hands, Aristotelian metaphysics becomes a basis for both followers and rivals of peripatetics to communicate in metaphysical discussions with a widened vocabulary. Thus, a classical metaphysical system aims at being a universal science by enriching its ontological vocabulary. I contend that Meinong (d.1920) can be evaluated in a similar manner in terms of contemporary discussions, given that he allows for a universal science and a comprehensive vocabulary. Following this similarity, I present the nature of discussions for a universal science as well as a theory accounting for such unusual entities as impossible objects, non-existents and fictional beings.

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