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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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(p.123) 4 Reductio
Against Facts

Arianna Betti

The MIT Press

This chapter argues that there is no reference to facts by means of that-clauses because that-clauses are non-referential parts of speech. Four necessary conditions for an expression to be a singular term are discussed and shown not to apply to that-clauses. It is also argued that the expression ‘the fact that p’ is not a singular term and that the expression ‘is a fact’ is not a predicate. With this, the first condition of the Quine-like criterion of ontological commitment in the argument from nominal reference for facts is shown to be unmet, and the argument as not going through.

Keywords:   Facts, Singular terms, Argument from Nominal Reference, Quine-like criterion of ontological commitment, That-clauses, ‘the fact that p’

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