You are invited to listen to Trinity's own Yang Guo, now a PhD student at Durham. The talk will be about the metaphysics of facts (see the abstract below). Spatiotemporal details: Junior Parlour, Trinity College, Thursday 6 March, 18:30.
ABSTRACT. Most metaphysicians believe in things. In addition, some believe in facts, or states of affairs, while others explicitly reject such entities. Unfortunately, these fault lines do not lie across any single conception of what facts are. For example, facts are said (a little conflictingly) to be: truthmakers, truths, concrete, abstract, complex, simple, combinations, combinings, proposition-like, substance-like, mode-like, trope-like, chain-like, composed by their constituents, and related to their constituents by abstraction. The result is a very wide range of conceptions of facts, not all suited to the same (or any) philosophical purposes. My talk will survey the most important options out of this range, focusing on conceptions of facts as truthmakers, and as instantial couplings. I will argue that a thoroughgoing factualist ontology should not be satisfied to conceive of facts in either of these ways, and suggest instead a conception tied to the Armstrongian notion of a thick particular. Along the way, I will touch on instantiation, constituenthood, some problems concerning the individuation of facts, and the relationship of factualism to an Aristotelian substance ontology.