Existence and Correspondence-to-Fact

Part of the Nijhoff International Philosophy Series book series (NIPS, volume 53)


In the early portions of this paper I review the central teaching of modern analytic philosophy on existence, whose negative doctrine derives from Kant and whose positive doctrine derives from Frege. I show how Frege’s view, that existence is a property of concepts, is inhospitable to the classically realist conception of truth as correspondence to reality. I proceed to examine the principal argument for judging the idea of correspondence-to-fact to be ‘an idea without content’, pointing out that this judgment is an illegitimate extension of Kant’s thesis that predications of existence are otiose and without content. I present a theory of fact based on a classical (non Fregean) conception of existence as a property of reality and argue that facts, so construed, serve for the ontological relatum of traditional correspondence theories of truth. Later sections compare the theory presented with several theories popular in Anglo-American philosophy on such topics as demonstratives, belief and the role of context in determining propositional content.


True Statement Propositional Content Correspondence Theory Doxastic Attitude Truth Claim 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1996

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