Arianna Betti, "Against Facts" (MIT Press, 2015)


The British philosopher and logician Bertrand Russell claimed it is a truism that there are facts: the planets revolve around the sun, 2 + 2 = 4, elephants are bigger than mice. In Against Facts (MIT Press, 2015), Arianna Betti argues that not only is it not a truism that there are facts, but that on either of the basic views of what facts are, there aren't any. Betti, who is professor of philosophy at the University of Amsterdam, argues that we don't need to posit facts as truthmakers or as the referents of that-clauses we can express truths about the world and provide an adequate semantics without needing recourse to special entities called "facts". Betti's finely articulated discussion and rebuttal of defenses of facts by Russell, David Armstrong, Kit Fine, and others will be a main resource for debate about facts, and related notions of propositions and states of affairs, for years to come.

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Carrie Figdor

Carrie Figdor is professor of philosophy at the University of Iowa.

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