Ernst Mally’s Anticipation of Encoding


  • Bernard Linsky



Ernst Mally’s Gegenstandstheoretische Grundlagen der Logik und Logistik (1912) proposes that the abstract object “the circle” does not satisfy the properties of circles, but instead “determines” the class of circles. In this he anticipates the notion of “encoding” that Edward Zalta proposes for his theory of Abstract Objects. It is argued that Mally did anticipate the notion of “encoding”, but sees it as a way of taking the concept as the subject of a proposition, rather than as a primitive notion in the theory of a new ontological category of abstract objects, as Zalta does.


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