Philosophy



The Unity of the Fact


Stephen Read 
a1 University of St Andrews

Abstract

What binds the constituents of a state of affairs together and provides unity to the fact they constitute? I argue that the fact that they are related is basic and fundamental. This is the thesis of Factualism: the world is a world of facts. I draw three corollaries: first, that the Identity of truth is mistaken, in conflating what represents (the proposition) with what is represented (the fact). Secondly, a popular interpretation of Wittgenstein's Tractatus, due to Steinus, whereby false propositions are taken to picture non-existent state of affairs, cannot be right. For Wittgenstein, propositions had two poles, and a proposition and its negation picture the same fact. Finally, the metaphysics of modal realism must be wrong, for there are no non-actual states of affairs to constitute any world other than the actual world.

(Published Online October 13 2005)