Edward N. Zalta

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Edward N. Zalta
Edward N. Zalta. 7199285.jpg
Zalta speaking at Wikimania 2015
Born (1952-03-16) March 16, 1952 (age 68)
Alma mater Rice University
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Era 20th-century philosophy
Region Western philosophy
Institutions University of Auckland
Rice University
University of Salzburg
CSLI, Stanford University
Thesis An Introduction to a Theory of Abstract Objects  (1981)
Doctoral advisor Terence Parsons
Main interests
Epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of language, intensional logic, philosophy of logic, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of mind, intentionality, situation theory
Notable ideas
Abstract object theory, exemplifying and encoding a property as two modes of predication, Platonized naturalism, [4] computational metaphysics

Edward Nouri Zalta [6] ( /ˈzɔːltə/ ; born March 16, 1952) is a senior research scholar at the Center for the Study of Language and Information at Stanford University. He received his BA at Rice University in 1975 and his PhD from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1981, both in philosophy. [6] Zalta has taught courses at Stanford University, Rice University, the University of Salzburg, and the University of Auckland. Zalta is also the Principal Editor of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy . [7]



Edward N. Zalta. "The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Issues Faced by Academic Reference Works That May Be of Interest to Wikipedians", Wikimania 2015, Mexico City

Zalta's most notable philosophical position is descended from the position of Alexius Meinong and Ernst Mally, [8] who suggested that there are many non-existent objects. On Zalta's account, some objects (the ordinary concrete ones around us, like tables and chairs) exemplify properties, while others (abstract objects like numbers, and what others would call "non-existent objects", like the round square, and the mountain made entirely of gold) merely encode them. [9] While the objects that exemplify properties are discovered through traditional empirical means, a simple set of axioms allows us to know about objects that encode properties. [10] For every set of properties, there is exactly one object that encodes exactly that set of properties and no others. [11] This allows for a formalized ontology.

Related Research Articles

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Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that examines the fundamental nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, between substance and attribute, and between potentiality and actuality. The word "metaphysics" comes from two Greek words that, together, literally mean "after or behind or among [the study of] the natural". It has been suggested that the term might have been coined by a first century AD editor who assembled various small selections of Aristotle’s works into the treatise we now know by the name Metaphysics.

Nominalism Philosophical view with two varieties

In metaphysics, nominalism is a philosophical view which denies the existence of universals and abstract objects, but affirms the existence of general or abstract terms and predicates. There are at least two main versions of nominalism. One version denies the existence of universals – things that can be instantiated or exemplified by many particular things. The other version specifically denies the existence of abstract objects – objects that do not exist in space and time.

Ontology Branch of philosophy concerned with concepts such as existence, reality, being, becoming, as well as the basic categories of existence and their relations

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Problem of universals Philosophical question of whether properties exist, and if so, what they are

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<i>The Degrees of Knowledge</i> 1932 book by Jacques Maritain

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Abstract object theory (AOT) is a branch of metaphysics regarding abstract objects. Originally devised by metaphysician Edward Zalta in 1981, the theory was an expansion of mathematical Platonism.

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  1. Tennant, Neil (3 November 2017) [First published 21 August 2013]. "Logicism and Neologicism". In Zalta, Edward N. (ed.). Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2017 ed.). Stanford University: The Metaphysics Research Lab. ISSN   1095-5054 . Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  2. st-andrews.ac.uk Archived 2006-12-24 at the Wayback Machine
  3. Edward N. Zalta and Uri Nodelman, "A Logically Coherent Ante Rem Structuralism ", "Ontological Dependence Workshop, University of Bristol, February 2011.
  4. Linsky, B., and Zalta, E., 1995, "Naturalized Platonism vs. Platonized Naturalism", The Journal of Philosophy, 92(10): 525–555.
  5. Anderson & Zalta 2004.
  6. 1 2 "An Introduction to a Theory of Abstract Objects (1981)". ScholarWorks@UMass Amherst. 2009. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  7. "Editorial Information". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2018 ed.). Stanford University: The Metaphysics Research Lab. 21 March 2018. ISSN   1095-5054 . Retrieved 31 May 2018. Principal Editor: Edward N. Zalta, Senior Research Scholar, Center for the Study of Language and Information, Stanford University
  8. Zalta 1983, p. xi.
  9. Zalta 1983, p. 33.
  10. Zalta 1983, p. 36.
  11. Zalta 1983, p. 35.


Works cited
Anderson, David J.; Zalta, Edward N. (2004). "Frege, Boolos, and Logical Objects". Journal of Philosophical Logic. 33 (1): 1–26.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
Zalta, Edward N. (1983). Abstract Objects: An Introduction to Axiomatic Metaphysics. Synthese Library. 160. Dordrecht, Netherlands: D. Reidel Publishing Company. ISBN   978-90-277-1474-9.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)