Edward N. Zalta
Zalta speaking at Wikimania 2015
Edward Nouri Zalta
March 16, 1952
|Alma mater||Rice University|
University of Massachusetts Amherst
|Institutions||University of Auckland|
University of Salzburg
CSLI, Stanford University
|Thesis||An Introduction to a Theory of Abstract Objects (1981)|
|Doctoral advisor||Terence Parsons|
|Epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of language, intensional logic, philosophy of logic, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of mind, intentionality, situation theory|
|Abstract object theory, exemplifying and encoding a property as two modes of predication, Platonized naturalism,computational metaphysics|
Edward Nouri Zalta (; born March 16, 1952) is an American philosopher who 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. 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.
Zalta's most notable philosophical position is descended from the position of Alexius Meinong and Ernst Mally, 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. 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. For every set of properties, there is exactly one object that encodes exactly that set of properties and no others. This allows for a formalized ontology.
Principal Editor: Edward N. Zalta, Senior Research Scholar, Center for the Study of Language and Information, Stanford University