[ #ReFi02 fact ]

0 Posted by - November 5, 2014 - Tracks

AIME: Facts that speak for themselves:

- 1 – As strange as that may be, it is interesting to retain the notion of fact because it combines in its etymology the two extremes: that of constructivism (a fact is made) and that which is not constructed by man. This hesitation is reflected in constatives, in the Austinian sense, which have the particularity of being both that which is designated by the indiscutable referent and, at the same time, that which is the object of a controversy (or some minimal protest against an opponent who doubts, it is presumed, the exactitude and obduracy of the fact).

- 2 – In aime, we use the term to indicate, similarly, the strangeness of a speech regime that would like facts to be at once silent – because only humans possess language – and loquacious enough to silence those humans who doubt what they (facts themselves but also the humans who speak of these facts) say.

- 3 – As an antonym of artifact, we can retain the term without danger as it is this distinction, between fact and artifact, which obsesses scholarly practice. Once distinguished from the artifact, the indisputable fact enters into a quite different rhetoric: one which puts an end to discussion. But it becomes then a different concept, one that the phrase “matters of concern” captures just as well.

- 4 – The paradox of political epistemology is that the same statement serves both to merge the being and the truth – the word “fact” designates what is said just as it designates the being making the statement – and, at the same time, to keep epistemological and ontological issues entirely separate …

- 5 – Before science studies’ work on the staging of experiments, it was very difficult to detect the strangeness of a situation which needs to escape these two contradictory injunctions: the experimental situation “makes facts speak for themselves” – “making something speak” is thus essential. And, at the same time, the distinction between epistemological and ontological questions is impossible since the establishment of chains of reference is indeed a mode of existence that adds its specific being to the world. Extrication from these two injunctions, at the origin of the Bifurcation, took time – time that was lost in discussions of relativism (“if you don’t believe in facts then everything is permitted”) and “social construction (“are facts constructed by humans or are they real ‘an sich?’ “).

- 6 – The very notion of “indisputable facts” implies a situation of interlocution, doubt, argument, which is not taken into account by the idea of ​​a brute fact, of an obstinate and stubborn fact, or even a state of fact. Even if we reuse the pretty innocent notion of “state”, we are only signaling in a discussion that which no longer has or no longer deserves to be discussed; as a result, we never get out of a situation of “matters of concern”, even when we are talking of matters of fact. What is surprising is that it needed Austin for philosophers of language to start to register the significant discovery that constatives are barely different from performatives.

No comments

Leave a reply