'state of affairs' is an individual concept, not a thing
Legacy Issue Number: 10803
Source: Thematix Partners LLC ( Edward Barkmeyer)
Name: 'state of affairs' is an individual concept, not a thing
Date: August 2006
Version: Interim Convenience Document
The diagram in 8.6 says that a state of affairs is (intended to be) a thing, and 'actuality' is a state of affairs that occurs in the reference world. Both of these statements are incorrect. An actuality is indeed a 'thing'. A 'state of affairs' cannot be.
The definition of fact type says that all its instances must be actualities. This implies that a possible state of affairs that is not an actuality does not correspond to any fact type. And that is correct, because a (possible) state of affairs is intrinsically conceptual.
If one replaces the roles in a fact type with specific things, one gets a proposition, which, according to 8.6, 'corresponds to' a (potential) state of affairs. But that proposition must be a concept: it has an instance that is a state of affairs, and a state of affairs is a 'thing'. If it is impossible, that state of affairs is an instance of the proposition, but if it is actual, it is also an instance of the fact type. This makes no sense. The problem lies in trying to distinguish states of affairs from propositions and fact types.
If one replaces the roles in a fact type with specific things, one gets a specialization of the fact type – an individual concept. Therefore, a proposition must be an individual concept. That individual concept is a potential state of affairs, and an actuality is the thing it corresponds to, if any. Therefore, a 'state of affairs' is not a 'thing', it is an individual concept, and it is a synonym for 'proposition'. And an actuality is not a subtype of 'state of affairs'; it is rather the instance it corresponds to.
Reported: SBVR 1.0b2 — Mon, 5 Mar 2007 05:00 GMT
Disposition: Resolved — SBVR 1.0
States of affairs are not individual concepts. Every state of affairs is a thing. SBVR defines ‘thing’ as anything perceivable or conceivable. A conceivable situation might be actual or not. It might have been actual in the past, not actual in the present and actual again in the future. It might be wanted, whether actual or not. It might occur intermittently. It might be obligated. States of affairs that are not actual are involved in actualities. E.g., each instance of the verb concept (was fact type) (from SBVR 12.4.1) ‘element of guidance obligates state of affairs’ is an actuality, regardless of whether that element of guidance is an operative rule that is being violated. If the rule is violated, the obligated state of affairs is not an actuality. But that state of affairs, despite failing to be actual, fills the ‘state of affairs’ verb concept role (was fact type role) in the instance of the verb concept (was fact type) ‘element of guidance obligates state of affairs’, and that instance is an actuality.
There is an important difference between a conceived thing and the concept that corresponds to that thing. For example, a possible world is a conceived thing. It is also a state of affairs. But a possible world is not a concept. It is an instance of the concept ‘possible world’ and also an instance of the more general concept ‘state of affairs’.
States of affairs are not individual concepts. States of affairs are things.
Disposition: No Change
Updated: Sat, 7 Mar 2015 08:56 GMT