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Edward Nouri Zalta Edit Profile

Philosopher , research fellow

Edward N. Zalta is a Senior research scholar at the Center for the Study of Language and Information.


Zalta, Edward Nouri was born on March 16, 1952 in Houston, Texas, United States. Son of Ely M. and Esther R. (Sankary) Zalta.


Bachelor with honors, Rice University, 1975. Doctor of Philosophy in Philosophy, University Massachusetts, 1981.


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. Metaphysics,epistemology,philosophy of logic,philosophy of language and intensional logic,philosophy of mathematics, andphilosophy of mind/intentionality.



Member American Philosophical Association.


  • Other Interests

    Avocations: classical piano, squash, backpacking.


Ely M. Zalta

Esther R. (Sankary) Zalta