existential potential wrote:
If a fact is true, then it will correspond to an external state of affairs.
All facts are true. Falsity is the absence of a fact. It is propositions
that, when true, correspond to an external state of affairs.
I see what you are getting at here, but I think you are missing the (or "a") point. It would have been meaningless (and unverifiable) to assert to an individual alive in the 15th century that water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen.
The proposition that 'water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen' was only circumstantially unverifiable in the 15th century. It was never logically impossible to verify it.
The words 'hydrogen' and 'oxygen' lacked meaning, but propositions can be stated in different ways. The proposition about water's composition could perhaps have been stated as follows: "Water is composed of two different elements that the human race is yet to discover, which will be called 'hydrogen' and 'oxygen'." That statement might have had meaning.
Are these points helpful? I'm not sure what you're getting at, to be honest. Your point is about propositions, not facts. I think that facts are mind-independent and language-independent. Water is the way it is whether we know it or not. 15th century people didn't know it, but so what?
Obviously, you are a bit Manichean.
What does that mean?
First, define rain.
What for? I don't think I need to know precisely what rain is. Whatever it is, if it's happening, then the proposition 'it is raining' is made true by it.
There's an epistemological problem here: if I'm not sure exactly what rain is, then how can I know whether the proposition is true?
But I'm not interested in epistemology here. I don't care how we know things or whether we know things. Propositions are true (or false as the case may be) regardless of whether we know it. If the proposition that it is raining is capable of being true, then there is a possible state of affairs that makes it true. Whether that state of affairs is water falling from the sky or clouds condensing over our heads doesn't really matter.
Probably you'll say that rain is water falling from the sky.
Why would I probably say that? It's obviously not accurate.
Well, what about drizzle?
A type of rain, I would have thought.
And what about a firefighter plane launching water?
What about it?
Facts are not so easy as a yes or no statement...
How does this follow from what you've said? I'm not even sure what it means. Facts exist independently of statements about them. Knowing facts can be difficult, I'll grant you that, but that's epistemology again. I'm talking about ontology. Facts are out there, even they're tricky to reach. If they weren't out there then nothing would be true.