Friday, August 8, 2014

Meanings of “true” & “fact”

True” comes from the same etymological root as “trust” and “trustworthy,” and all these from the Indo-European root “deru” for “tree,” suggesting uprightness and reliability generally.

Aristotle articulated this conception when he said that -- to speak the truth is to say of what is that it is, and to say of what is not that it is not.

The word “fact” is derived from the Latin “factum,” which is the neuter past participle of the verb “facere,” meaning “to do” or “to make.”

Hence, to mix three languages, one can say that the factum is the thing done, or the fait accompli. The word “fact” in English has come to mean (fairly recently, by the way) that in virtue of which true statements are true. When it comes to specifying their essence, facts can only be stated and not named.

Source: TheConstruction of Social Reality by John R. Searle

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