Synthese 199 (3-4):8029-8045 (2021)
AbstractAccording to the modal theory of facts and states of affairs, two facts or states of affairs are identical iff they are necessarily equivalent. One important argument against the modal theory is the causal argument of John Perry, which can also be applied with equal strength to a number of more moderate-grain theories of facts and states of affairs. I argue that, at least in its original form, the causal argument is unsound. I also argue that, while the argument can be modified so that it avoids the problems of the original version of the argument, such modifications are at best only successful if they appeal to additional considerations involving either grounding or aboutness. Moreover, I argue that incorporating such considerations into the causal argument allows it to refute its targeted theories only if such considerations by themselves refute these theories. If this is correct, then the causal argument is at best superfluous and we should focus on these other considerations when evaluating these theories. The broader lesson from this is arguably that, in order to best evaluate these theories of facts and states of affairs, we shouldn’t focus on arguments involving causation, but we should instead focus on arguments that involve other notions, such as grounding and aboutness.
Similar books and articles
Response-Dependence in Moral Responsibility: A Granularity Challenge.Shawn Tinghao Wang - 2022 - American Philosophical Quarterly 59 (3):273–285.
States of Affairs, Facts and Situations in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus.Jimmy Plourde - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (1):181-203.
Tensed Facts and the Fittingness of our Attitudes.Kristie Miller - forthcoming - Philosophical Perspectives.
Stati di cose, esemplificazione e regresso di Bradley.Francesco Orilia - 2006 - Rivista di Filosofia 97 (3):349-386.
Granularity and scalar implicature in numerical expressions.Chris Cummins, Uli Sauerland & Stephanie Solt - 2012 - Linguistics and Philosophy 35 (2):135-169.
An ontology of physical causation as a basis for assessing causation in fact and attributing legal responsibility.Jos Lehmann & Aldo Gangemi - 2007 - Artificial Intelligence and Law 15 (3):301-321.
A possible delimitation between facts and states of affais.Ana Clara Polakof - 2016 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 20 (3):361-376.
The Counteridentical Account of Explanatory Identities.Isaac Wilhelm - 2021 - Journal of Philosophy 118 (2):57-78.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
Citations of this work
No citations found.
References found in this work
From Metaphysics to Ethics: A Defence of Conceptual Analysis.Frank Jackson - 1998 - Oxford University Press.