A Common Ground and Some Surprising Connections


Edward N. Zalta


Southern Journal of Philosophy, Volume XL, Supplement 2002, 1-25

[Note: This was the keynote lecture delivered at the Spindel Conference entitled Origins: The Common Sources of the Analytic and Phenomenological Traditions, September 2001, University of Memphis Philosophy Department.]


This paper serves as a kind of field guide to certain passages in the literature which bear upon the foundational theory of objects I have developed over the years. This will be of interest since I believe that the foundational theory assimilates ideas from key philosophers in both the analytical and phenomenological traditions. I explain how my foundational theory of objects serves as a common ground where analytic and phenomenological concerns meet. I try to establish how the theory offers a logic that systematizes a well-known phenomenological kind of entity, and I try to show the various ways the theory systematizes the ideas of many analytic philosophers. The ideas of Plato, Leibniz, Frege, Russell, Goedel and even Kripke become connected through those of Brentano, Meinong, Husserl, and Mally.

The field guide will not only document the passages in which the distinction between two kinds of predication originates, but also document the other surprising, and often unrelated, contexts where the distinction reappears in the work of others. It will also document ways in which the theory can be used to represent precisely the ideas of the philosophers mentioned above. The resulting guide will bring together the works of many different authors, including some clearly within the analytic tradition, some clearly within the phenomenological tradition, and some who straddle the divide.

[Preprint available online in PDF]