Chapter

Facts Revisited

Stephen Neale

in Facing Facts

Published in print November 2001 | ISBN: 9780199247158
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598081 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199247153.003.0011
 Facts Revisited

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With the Descriptive Constraint discussed in Ch. 9 at hand, Ch. 11 examines diverse theories of facts with a view to establishing how viable they are, and then turns to claims about the semantics of causal statements that have been used to motivate ontologies of facts and events. Neale makes the point that there is considerable confusion in the literature on the matter of whether causal statements are extensional, but shows that once the clarifications effected in earlier chapters are brought to bear, almost all of the confusion can be eradicated and decisive results obtained. There are still some extensional causal statements, and these can be delimited on the basis of their superficial grammatical forms, but there are other causal statements for which it is, as far as Neale can ascertain, still an open question whether extensional or non‐extensional treatments are to be preferred, much turning on the position taken on the overall shape of a semantic theory. If non‐extensional treatments prove appealing, the resulting theories will have to satisfy the strictures imposed by the Descriptive Constraint. The six sections of the chapter are: Identity Connectives; Fact Identity; Events; Events and Causes; Facts and Causes; and Fact Identity Again.

Keywords: causal statements; Causes; Descriptive Constraint; events; extensionality; Fact Identity; facts; Identity Connectives; non‐extensionality; ontologies of events; ontologies of facts; ontology; semantics; theories of facts

Chapter.  8762 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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