In Historisches Wörterbuch der Philosophie, Volume 8. Basel: Schwabe. pp. 1102–1113 (1992)
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Both ‘Sachverhalt’ and ‘state of affairs’ seem to have been derived from the juridical ‘status’ in the sense of 'status rerum' meaning: state or constitution of things. ‘Status’ signifies also in an extended sense ‘the way things stand, the condition or peculiarity of a thing in regard to its circumstances, position, order’. We describe the history of usage of ‘Sachverhalt’ from these beginnings, addressing the role of Goclenius, Lotze, Stumpf, Husserl and Adolf Reinach, whose theory of the relations between judgment and Sachverhalt served as one starting point for the development of Reinach’s theory of speech acts in 1913.

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Barry Smith
State University of New York, Buffalo


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