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Facts


Herbert Hochberg


Pages 213 - 218



Early in the 20th century Russell characterised facts – which he also called verifiers – as what make true statements true. Thus, late in the 20th century analytic metaphysics one hears of ‘truth-makers’ (a phrase apparently going back to Bolzano) or, more accurately, of ‘truth grounds’ and of truth theory as an ontological account of the existents in virtue of which true judgments are true. Truth theory was no longer merely a matter of the dealing with the logical problems surrounding the occurrence of a truth-predicate in a logistic schema. These phrases and their uses highlight the contemporary rehabilitation of metaphysics and ontology – of seeking what kinds of entities there are that compose our world and are required for our categorisation of it. Obviously there are things – objects of various sorts. It is also obvious, though not to all, that there are, in addition to things, properties of things and relations that things stand in. The simplest notion of a fact is of something having a property and of things being in relation. A fact is then readily taken as the reason or ground for statements or propositions being true ascriptions of predicates to things as being true.




1Department of Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin



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