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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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A Fallback Position (2)

A Fallback Position (2)

(p.195) 6 A Fallback Position (2)
Against Facts

Arianna Betti

The MIT Press

This chapter, like the previous one, assumes per absurdum that that-clauses are singular terms against the conclusion of chapter 4, and discusses a sixth and final attempt at blocking the collapse of propositional facts into (true) propositions. It is here investigated whether certain linguistic evidence, in particular certain uses involving anaphora, can be used to support an acknowledgment of propositional facts as a distinct category of entities alongside propositions. Counterexamples are found to the positive linguistic evidence in question, and, in the presence of a superior alternative explanation, it is concluded that language alone cannot establish a difference between (propositional) facts and (true) propositions. This sixth attempt is, like the other five, judged to be a failure: the claim that propositional facts must be acknowledged alongside propositions is left unsupported by arguments. Even if it were true that that-clauses are singular terms, it would be false to claim that some (kinds of) that-clauses refer to propositional facts while other (kinds of) that-clauses refer to propositions.

Keywords:   Propositional facts, Propositions, That-clauses, Reference, Anaphora

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