Where Are Facts? -- A Case for Internal Factual Realism

Diálogos. Revista de Filosofía de la Universidad de Puerto Rico 38 (82):7-30 (2003)
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Abstract

What is the ontological status of facts? Are facts linguistic or extra-linguistic entities? If facts are extra-linguistic entities, are they mind-independent or relative to languages, theories or conceptual schemes? Based on a minimal definition of facts, the author argues that what are specified by true statements are not identical to true propositions expressed, so facts are not linguistic entities. Furthermore, what are specified by true statements are not to which a true statement corresponds, so facts are not mind-independent, either as concrete entities in the universe or as abstract entities in the world as it is. Last, the author presents an internal factual realist answer: although facts are neither in the world as it is, nor in a language, facts are real and exist in a world under consideration. A fact, as a non-linguistic correlate of a true statement of a language, exists in a world specified by the language.

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Xinli Wang
Juniata College

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