Alexius von Meinong

Meinong, Alexius von


Born July 17, 1853, in Lemberg, present-day L’vov; died Nov. 27, 1920, in Graz, Austria. Austrian idealist philosopher and psychologist.

In 1882, Meinong became a professor at the University of Graz, where in 1894 he founded the first laboratory for experimental psychology in Austria. Meinong’s philosophy is a variation of neorealism. Taking as his starting point the philosophy of D. Hume and of his teacher F. Brentano, Meinong developed the idealist theory of objects, which conceives of an object not as a material entity but as an emotional presentation. Moreover, in his view the nature of the object is irrelevant: whether it is a real thing or an ideal relation, for example, the concepts of similarity and difference. An item becomes an object only in the act of cognition. This thesis of Meinong’s was later expanded in the theory of intentionality of the German philosopher E. Husserl. But in contrast to Husserl’s phenomenology, Meinong recognized objects as having logical primacy over acts of consciousness. Meinong also developed a general theory of values. His ideas influenced the development of neopositivism, especially the early work of B. Russell.


Untersuchungen zur Gegenstandstheorie und Psychologie. Leipzig, 1904.
Über die Stellung der Gegenstandstheorie im System der Wissenschaften. Leipzig, 1907.
Über Möglichkeit und Wahrscheinlichkeit. Leipzig, 1915.
Zur Grundlegung der allgemeinen Werttheorie. Graz, 1923.
Über Annahmen. 3rd ed. Leipzig, 1928.
Gesamtausgabe, vol. 1. Graz, 1969.


Tegen, E. A. von Meinong. Lund, 1935.
Meinong Gedenkschrift. Graz, 1952.