Against Facts

2016.01.25 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Arianna Betti, Against Facts, MIT Press, 2015, 296pp., $40.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780262029216. Reviewed by Maria van der Schaar,
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2016.01.25 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Arianna Betti, Against Facts, MIT Press, 2015, 296pp., $40.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780262029216. Reviewed by Maria van der Schaar, Leiden University It is a fact that Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo and that Hitler lost the war. Against Facts does not claim that these sentences are false. Instead it argues against two influential ways in which philosophers understand the notion of fact. Facts are generally understood as compositional facts, or as whatever is named by 'the fact that so and so.' Arianna Betti argues that, if such expressions are names at all, the best candidates for reference are propositional facts, that is, true propositions, ideal objects on 'the level of sense'. A compositional fact is "a real object (and) part of the world at the level of reference" (p. 23). How does a compositional fact differ from events and from complexes? The fact Caesar's being dead... Read More

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