A century after ‘On Denoting’ was published, the debate it initiated continues to rage. On the one hand, there is a mass of new historical scholarship, about both Russell and Meinong, which has not circulated very far beyond specialist scholars. On the other hand, there are continuing problems and controversies concerning contemporary Russellian and Meinongian theories, many of them involving issues that simply did not occur to the original protagonists. This work provides an overview of the latest historical scholarship on the two philosophers as well as detailed accounts of some of the problems facing the current incarnations of their theories.
Introduction: Russell and Meinong in Retrospect 1. Logic and Denotation Alasdair Urquhart 2. Antirealism and the Theory of Descriptions Graham Stevens 3. Russell vs. Frege on Definite Descriptions as Singular Terms Francis Jeffry Pelletier and Bernard Linsky 4. A Cantorian Argument Against Frege’s and Early Russell’s Theories of Descriptions Kevin C. Klement 5. ‘On Denoting’: Appearance and Reality Gideon Makin 6. Explaining G. F. Stout’s Reaction to Russell’s ‘On Denoting’ Omar W. Nasim 7. Russell on ‘the’ in the Plural David Bostock 8. Psychological Content and Indeterminacy with Respect to Being: Two Notes on the Russell-Meinong Debate Johann Christian Marek 9. Meditations on Meinong’s Golden Mountain Dale Jacquette 10. Rethinking Item Theory Nicholas Griffin 11. Contra Meinong Peter Loptson 12. Who is Afraid of Imaginary Objects? Gabriele Contessa 13. Russell’s Definite Descriptions de re Gregory C. Landini 14. Quantifying in and Anti-Essentialism Michael Nelson 15. Points, Complexes, Complex Points, and a Yacht Nathan Salmon