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Ingarden, Roman Witold

barry smith

Subject Philosophy » Metaphysics

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631199991.1995.x


(1893–1970) Polish philosopher, principally known for his contributions to aesthetics and the theory of literature, and above all for his The Literary Work of Art of 1931. As the subtitle of the latter reveals, however, Ingarden's primary interests were ontological, and his main work – The Controversy over the Existence of the World (1964–74) – is devoted to a detailed analysis of ontological categories as part of an attempted solution to the so-called ‘problem of idealism realism’. Ingarden's interest in this problem had been awakened by the move to idealism on the part of his teacher Husserl , In garden himself having sided with the realist (Munich-Göttingen) wing of the phenomenological movement. The idealist maintains, crudely, that the external world is dependent for its existence upon the existence of mind or consciousness. The realist, in contrast, maintains that the world exists independently of mind (that the world would still exist even if all minds should be destroyed). For the idealist, therefore, the external world possesses something of the character of a world of fiction, a view which In garden sought to refute through his investigations of the ontology of literature. Broadly, he sought to demonstrate that there are radically different sorts of structures manifested by fictional and by real objects, above all in virtue of the fact that the former manifest certain ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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