Organon F

2021, Pages 1–19

ISSN 2585-7150 (online) ISSN 1335-0668 (print)

Research Article

Factualism and Anti-descriptivism: A Challenge to the Materialist Criterion of Fundamentality

Víctor Fernández Castro

DOI: to be assigned


Inspired by the work of Sellars, Cumpa (2014, 2018) and Buonomo (2021) have argued that we can evaluate our metaphysical proposals on fundamental categories in terms of their capacity for reconciling the scientific and the manifest image of the world. This criterion of fundamentality would allow us to settle the question of which categories among those proposed in the debate—e.g., substance, structure or facts—have a better explanatory value. The aim of this essay is to argue against a central assumption of the criterion: semantic descriptivism. Specifically, I aim at showing that the criterion rests on the idea that the manifest picture is mostly a description of the world, and thus, it commits us with certain realism. Instead, I argue that at least some of the vocabulary we use to construct our manifest picture of the world, mental vocabulary, is evaluative rather than descriptive and thus creates problems in reconciling the manifest picture with scientific psychology and neurosciences. I conclude with some remarks on alternatives that could provide a way out of the fundamentality criterion.


Descriptivism; factualism; fundamental categories; mental vocabulary.

Author(s) and affiliation(s)


Víctor Fernández Castro


Universidad de Granada


FiloLab-UGR, Universidad de Granada, 18011 Granada, Spain


About this article


11 February 2020


27 January 2021


3 June 2021

Published online

24 September 2021


Institute of Philosophy of the Slovak Academy of Sciences

Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Cite as

Castro, Víctor Fernández. "Factualism and Anti-descriptivism: A Challenge to the Materialist Criterion of Fundamentality" Organon F 2021, 1–19.

Copyright information

© Víctor Fernández Castro

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