The Fundamental Facts Can Be Logically Simple

Noûs 1:1-20 (2023)
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Abstract

I like the view that the fundamental facts are logically simple, not complex. However, some universal generalizations and negations may appear fundamental, because they cannot be explained by logically simple facts about particulars. I explore a natural reply: those universal generalizations and negations are true because certain logically simple facts—call them —are the fundamental facts. I argue that this solution is only available given some metaphysical frameworks, some conceptions of metaphysical explanation and fundamentality. It requires a ‘fitting’ framework, according to which metaphysical theories explain the aptness of representations in terms of how things are fundamentally. Fitting frameworks conceive of the fundamental facts as those that are metaphysically ‘real’; call them the ‘facts-in-reality’. Moreover, we must take as primary a plural notion of the facts-in-reality, not the singular notion of a fact-in-reality. By contrast, a metaphysics that grounds facts is incompatible with my strategy for keeping the fundamental facts logically simple.

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Alexander Jackson
Boise State University

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