Objetos não existentes: um pseudoproblema?

  • Márcio Francisco Rodrigues Filho
Keywords: Nonexistent. Intentionality. Concepts. Ryle. Representation.


How can we represent Santa Claus if Santa Claus does not exist? If representing something involves having a relation to what is represented, then how to establish a constitutive relation with a representation of something that does not exist? This is the famous problem of “intentional non-existence” in philosophy of mind. Here we argue that this is a pseudoproblem, a categorical error. To do so, based on Gilber Ryle’s The Concept of Mind, we show that this error arises when we include “non-existent” objects in the “immaterial” category, when in fact they belong to the category of “abstract objects.” After all, we have shown that if we could not bear a relationship with the “non-existent”, we, the human animals, might want to conceive such objects, but this is obviously a contradiction.