States of Affairs

David M. Armstrong

in Sketch for a Systematic Metaphysics

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199590612
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723391 | DOI:
States of Affairs

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It is argued that the fundamental realities that constitute the world and are capable of independent existence are states of affairs (Russell and Wittgenstein's ‘facts’). They are particulars instantiating universal properties, and relations instantiating two or more particulars. They are all positive, the status of negative truths being left for further discussion. States of affairs are themselves particulars, as argued by Russell. Conjunctive states of affairs are accepted, but disjunctive states of affairs rejected. Particulars demand universals, universals demand particulars. It is suggested, tentatively, that this fundamental necessity is an irreducible feature of reality.

Keywords: states of affairs; facts; Russell; Wittgenstein; particulars; universals; negative truths; necessity

Chapter.  2711 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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