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Against Facts$
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Arianna Betti

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262029216

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262029216.001.0001

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Compositional Facts

Compositional Facts

(p.3) 1 Compositional Facts
Against Facts

Arianna Betti

The MIT Press

This chapter fixes what compositional facts are and what they are for. Five semantic roles are distinguished that entities can play in the theoretical space at the intersection of language and world, and compositional facts are characterized as entities able to play two such roles (sentence-object, and truthmaker). A reconstruction of Armstrong’s argument in favor of compositional facts as truthmakers is then offered, and in this connection, seven ontological characteristics are individuated that facts are taken to possess. These ontological characteristics distinguish facts from neighboring entities (propositions, states of affairs, tropes, events, integral wholes and complexes) and form, taken together, the seven conditions of the (working) definition of the notion of compositional fact. A compositional fact is characterized as a complex entity with a fixed number of constituents (minimally two) that is part of the furniture of the world, and whose composition is formal, nonmereological, and heterogeneous both from the ontological point of view and from the point of view of the categories involved.

Keywords:   Compositional Facts, States of Affairs, Propositions, Events, Integral wholes, Tropes, Semantic Roles, Ontological characteristics of compositional facts, Armstrong’s Truthmaker Argument

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