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Sketch for a Systematic Metaphysics$
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D. M. Armstrong

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199590612

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199590612.001.0001

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States of Affairs

States of Affairs

(p.26) Chapter 4 States of Affairs
Sketch for a Systematic Metaphysics

David M. Armstrong

Oxford University Press

It is argued that the fundamental realities that constitute the world and are capable of independent existence are states of affairs (Russell and Wittgenstein's ‘facts’). They are particulars instantiating universal properties, and relations instantiating two or more particulars. They are all positive, the status of negative truths being left for further discussion. States of affairs are themselves particulars, as argued by Russell. Conjunctive states of affairs are accepted, but disjunctive states of affairs rejected. Particulars demand universals, universals demand particulars. It is suggested, tentatively, that this fundamental necessity is an irreducible feature of reality.

Keywords:   states of affairs, facts, Russell, Wittgenstein, particulars, universals, negative truths, necessity

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