Facing Facts

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Clarendon Press, 2001 - Philosophy - 254 pages
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Stephen Neale presents a powerful, original examination of a cornerstone of modern philosophy: the idea that our thoughts and utterances are representations of reality, that accurate or true representations are those that correspond to the facts. Facing Facts will be crucial to future work in metaphysics, logic, and the philosophy of mind and language, and will have profound implications far beyond. -;Facing Facts is a powerful, original examination of attempts to dislodge a cornerstone of modern philosophy: the idea that our thoughts and utterances are representations of slices of reality. Representations that are accurate are usually said to be true, to correspond to the facts - this is the foundation of correspondence theories of truth. A number of prominent philosophers have tried to undermine the idea that propositions, facts and correspondence can play any useful role in philosophy, and formal arguments have been advanced to demonstrate that, under seemingly uncontroversial conditions, such entities collapse into an undifferentiated unity. The demise of individual facts is meant to herald the dawn of a new era in philosophy, in which debates about scepticism, realism, subjectivity, representational and computational theories of mind, possible worlds, and divergent conceptual schemes that represent reality in different ways to different persons, periods, or cultures evaporate through lack of subject matter.
 

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Contents

1 The End of Representation
1
Truth and Correspondence
17
Truth and Composition
75
Facts and Descriptions
83
Facts and Descriptions
118
6 Extensionality
137
7 Inference Principles
151
8 Logical Equivalence
166
9 Gödelian Equivalence
177
10 Description and Equivalence
190
11 Facts Revisited
202
Incomplete Symbols
224
References
233
Glossary
251
Index
253
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About the author (2001)


Stephen Neale is Professor of Philosophy, Rutgers University.

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