more from Jonathan Bennett

Single Idea 10364

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 8. Particular Causation / b. Causal relata]

Full Idea

Facts are not the sort of item that can cause anything. A fact is a true proposition (they say); it is not something in the world but is rather something about the world.

Gist of Idea

Facts are about the world, not in it, so they can't cause anything


Jonathan Bennett (Events and Their Names [1988], p.22), quoted by Jonathan Schaffer - The Metaphysics of Causation 1.1

Book Reference

'Stanford Online Encyclopaedia of Philosophy', ed/tr. Stanford University [], p.4

A Reaction

Compare 10361. Good argument, but maybe 'fact' is ambiguous. See Idea 10365. Events are said to be more concrete, and so can do the job, but their individuation also seems to depend on a description (as Davidson has pointed out).

Related Ideas

Idea 10365 We might use 'facta' to refer to the truth-makers for facts [Mellor, by Schaffer,J]

Idea 10361 Events are fairly course-grained (just saying 'hello'), unlike facts (like saying 'hello' loudly) [Schaffer,J]