Re: [quickphilosophy] Re: 1.12; 1.13; 1.2 & 1.21

  • From: wittrsl@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: quickphilosophy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 08 Sep 2010 20:03:54 +0100

Oh, you can find plenty of definitions of fact on the Web.  If you ask 
Google to define fact, it comes up with the following (before moving on 
to things like FACT being a Japanese band):

* a piece of information about circumstances that exist or events that 
have occurred; "first you must collect all the facts of the case"
* a statement or assertion of verified information about something that 
is the case or has happened; "he supported his argument with an 
impressive array of facts"
* an event known to have happened or something known to have existed; 
"your fears have no basis in fact"; "how much of the story is fact and 
how much fiction is hard to tell"
* a concept whose truth can be proved; "scientific hypotheses are not 
* The term fact can refer to, depending on context, a detail concerning 
circumstances past or present, a claim corresponding to objective 
reality, a provably true concept, or a synonym for reality..

What strikes me is that terms like "information", "statement" and 
"concept" figure so prominently.

Certainly, volume of commentary isn't a criticism.  But what is less 
usual about the case of W is the lack of much agreement.  Along with the 
feeling that W did not try very hard to be understood, sometimes perhaps 
the opposite.  Kant may present problems, but he spent 20 years figuring 
out the CPR and was then sufficiently distressed at being misunderstood 
to produce a revised version soon afterwards.  I don't see any sign that 
Kant was ever intentionally obscure.

On 08/09/2010 12:01, walto wrote:
> I think that's a bad definition. Here are some better ones, from
> –noun
> 1.
> something that actually exists; reality; truth: Your fears have no basis
> in fact.
> 2.
> something known to exist or to have happened: Space travel is now a fact.
> 3.
> a truth known by actual experience or observation; something known to be
> true: Scientists gather facts about plant growth.
> 4.
> something said to be true or supposed to have happened: The facts given
> by the witness are highly questionable.
> 5.
> Law . Often, facts. an actual or alleged event or circumstance, as
> distinguished from its legal effect or consequence. Compare question of
> fact, question of law.
> I don't know of any important work of philosophy that hasn't produced a
> volume of commentary. I don't think that alone should be considered a
> sort of condemnation. It's clearly hard to understand, and at times
> seems intentionally obscure, but I think that's also true of Kant. And
> Aristotle is no day at the beach, either, IMO.
> W


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