Edward N. Zalta

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Edward N. Zalta
Photograph of Zalta speaking at Wikimania 2015
Zalta speaking at Wikimania 2015
Born (1952-03-16) March 16, 1952 (age 66)
Alma materUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst
Era20th-century philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
ThesisAbstract Objects (1980)
Doctoral advisorTerence Parsons
Main interests
Epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of language, intensional logic, philosophy of logic, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of mind, intentionality
Notable ideas
Abstract object theory, Platonized naturalism[4]

Edward N. Zalta (/ˈzɔːltə/; born March 16, 1952) is a senior research scholar at the Center for the Study of Language and Information. He received his PhD in philosophy from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1980.[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.


  1. ^ Tennant, Neil (3 November 2017) [First published 21 August 2013]. "Logicism and Neologicism". In Zalta, Edward N. 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. ^ Zalta 1983, p. xii.
  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[edit]

Anderson, David J.; Zalta, Edward N. (2004). "Frege, Boolos, and Logical Objects". Journal of Philosophical Logic. 33 (1): 1–26.
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.

External links[edit]