I'm interested in the different forms of actuality.


For me fact must be a constant, base level of deducted 'fact'. Something that cannot be disproved. For instance, fire is hot. Fact is actuality to is most degree. The simplest fact, devoid of ones own opinion or belief.


Truth is fact you believe that applies to situations. Truth sides with fact and your personal beliefs to act as a statement on how you view certain situations. Fact and personal reason equal a basic truth.

E.g. I know the fire is hot as I started the fire. I understand how fire works and the adequate temperatures that fire reaches I also understand the chemical reaction that must take place to start the fire.


This where I'm having trouble grasping the ideas, I believe reality to be a constant evolving, becoming from ones own POV. A personal materialistic structure of experience in which you only become truly ignorant of your reality's flaws once disapproved. People construct their own reality and live in this world. (Please correct if wrong!!)

It seems as though reality is built on facts and truth you acccept. Everybody knows the fire is hot but only you know the fire will burn your skin.

Please leave ideas or corrections, quotes or recommend philosophers that tackle the work. I'm still trying to get my head round the ideas.

I hope you can help, thanks for reading. Thomas.

  • truth has nothing to do with personal opinions or reasons. if everybody in the world had a personal opinion that Obama is a Muslim, or that Trump is an agent of Putin, that would not make either "fact" true.
    – user20153
    Commented Oct 22, 2016 at 21:25
  • people do construct their own realities, in a sense. but they do not construct the world - whatever they construct is answerable to "reality".
    – user20153
    Commented Oct 22, 2016 at 22:37
  • Facts can be disproved, once you get outside the zeitgeist or after the paradigm shift.
    – 0-60FPS
    Commented Oct 23, 2016 at 2:00
  • As for an idea... George Orwell/Eric Blair once said: "reality exists in the human mind and nowhere else". Reality, or at least some version of reality only exists inside your consciousness
    – 0-60FPS
    Commented Oct 23, 2016 at 2:08
  • They can create cold fires these days:"When a cold flame ignites, it might only kick out heat hotter than its surroundings by a few tens of degrees Celsius, while a hot flame spikes the temperature by thousands." motherboard.vice.com/read/… And this is the problem with your idea of "fact": it is not humanly possible to come up with a generality "that can not be disproved" from finitely many observations in limited contexts, nor is it possible to divest them of opinions and beliefs. There are no facts and truths in your sense.
    – Conifold
    Commented Oct 23, 2016 at 19:19

2 Answers 2


Well, the short answer to this question is that you shouldn't be using these terms at all without access to some medium-sized grains of salt. Fact, Truth, and Reality are colloquial terms more than analytical ones, and while they have their uses we can't let them get away from us.

For instance, what you've called a 'fact' would be much better described as an observation. We don't deduce 'fire is hot'; what premises would we deduce that from? We observe specific examples of things that we have classified as 'fire' and notice that they are 'hot.' Perhaps there is even an element of tautology here to the extent that we have defined the concept 'fire' as having the quality 'hot'.

Likewise, 'truth' would be better described as an established theory: an induction from a set of observations. I mean, imagine a case where person A says "fire is hot" and person B responds with "Don't be an idiot." Person A then finds a bunch of examples of fire, person B observes they are hot, and eventually person B has the general realization that yes, 'fire is hot'. Note, of course, that we can mess with this induction. Fire is (generally speaking) the product of oxidation, but many compounds oxidize at temperatures we should not even consider warm (iron rust, the oxidation of weathered aluminum). So what do we do: define 'fire' differently, or accept that fire can sometimes be cold?

See, 'fact,' 'truth,' and 'reality' are words that carry philosophical/ontological loads — implications of permanence, transcendence, and universality that go all the way back to Platonic idealism — and we should be careful not to invoke those loads unconsciously.

'Reality' is best thought of as a meta-observation: the ground from which all of our observations of the world arise. We should take care to distinguish that 'ground' (the what is that we exist within) from the theories and inductions that we make about it (the 'reality' that we construct in our heads). We also need to distinguish between that 'what is' and the human consensus reality that we share. For instance, there is no difference between a floating log and a boat outside of human understanding: a boat is only a 'boat' by virtue of being constructed and used in particular ways. we have an unfortunate tendency to lump these three things — the natural world, the social consensus reality, and the individual psychologically constructucted world — all together under the label 'reality,' and that can send us spinning of into all sorts of odd directions.


A fact is the object of a statement that is true.

Truth is a condition of propositions satisfied when utterance corresponds to what is. For example, "2 + 2 = 4" is a mathematically, or axiomatically true proposition. The truth of "all dividends require financing" is self-evident when you know the meanings of "dividend", "require" and "financing". "The Earth is roughly 93 million miles from the Sun" is empirically true and is falsifiable (you need only demonstrate that the earth is not roughly 93 million miles from the sun to show that the statement is false.) "I feel glad" is a statement of self-knowledge and true when uttered sincerely (Note that this is a case of what is "true to you" tho it is not empirically verifiable by anyone other than the particular self uttering the statement). In each instance of the preceding true statements, they follow the form of "P" iff P, or, the proposition "P" is true if and only if P is the case, i.e. the correspondence of utterance and what is.

Reality in the sense you describe is psychological (i.e. reality "to you"), not philosophical (what is). Reality simply is what is, i.e., reality (the world, the case, states of affairs) is that which is known, i.e. reality is that which is empirically verified and knowledge of reality is empirical verification of what is (else how do you know what is?) As you have asked this is a philosophy forum, it is worth pointing out that philosophy translates from the Greek through the Latin to love of wisdom. Love in the sense of original utterance was akin to virtue, respect or reverence. Wisdom has often been called the intelligent application of knowledge, but, intelligent according to whom? Wisdom, for all that is said of it, simply obtains knowledge. Without knowledge to be obtained, there is no philosophy to be had or done. Philosophy, to be redundant, is respect for obtaining empirical verification. For example, if you look at the etymology of psychology, you will see it derives from soul, spirit, breath and self. In the former two instances, the term is imponderable and no knowledge is to be obtained. Of the latter two, the first is in the domain of biology (specifically physiology) and the second is of interest to the philosophy of psychology inasmuch as it is worth pointing out that only you can empirically verify whether or not you feel glad when you state, "I feel glad".

As for your assertions, it is not that a fact cannot be disproved, it is that it can be falsified and it is verified. To disprove the fact that "all ravens are black" one need merely demonstrate a single instance of a non-black raven. To disprove the statement "it is raining" one need only look outside and see that it is, in fact, sunny.

Truth is not a matter of belief. It may be "true to you" that Angelina is better off without Brad, but it is true that Angelina has filed for divorce. It may be "true to you" that two plus two equals five, but if you stand two plus two feet from a train track and jump the distance as a train happens by and are thinking you've a foot to spare, you'll likely never set foot in a philosophy forum again ;) It might be true to you that the world is flat and if so likely any demonstration to the contrary will fall flat short of launching you into space and circumnavigating the Earth so you can empirically verify it's non-flatness with your own senses.

As for your conception of reality, in addition to distinguishing what is true from what is "true to [you; me; us; them]", also consider the difference between the object (e.g. the world) and the content (e.g. propositions about the world).

Hope that helps.

  • 1
    "A fact is a statement that is true." When Wittgenstein says, "the world is made of facts", it doesn't seem that he means "the world is made of statements that are true". Rather, he seemed to believe that a "fact" is the external entity to which a "true" statement relates in a certain way that we call "truth" - and, up to this point, I tend to agree with W. Commented Oct 23, 2016 at 12:12
  • 1
    Indeed. There is the content of the fact (or, "true proposition") and the object(s) to which it refers. "Truth and falsity are used for propsitional representations, such as beliefs or statements..." -John Searle, Seeing Things As They Are, pg. 40 (2015)
    – MmmHmm
    Commented Oct 23, 2016 at 13:15
  • 1
    @LuísHenrique, edited for clarification per your comment.
    – MmmHmm
    Commented Oct 24, 2016 at 0:05
  • A fact under your context seems to change value, which is contradictory. To say some x is a fact and then be wrong means you were just wrong. A fact ought to indicate a statement is indeed true by definition and not on verification. To say all ravens are black is a fact is FALSE. It was likely never a fact to begin with.
    – Logikal
    Commented Jul 22, 2019 at 19:09
  • @logikal the contradiction is in your comment, confusing the axiomatic with the empirical
    – MmmHmm
    Commented Jul 24, 2019 at 2:34

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