Tom is fat ==> Tom's fatnessAll we seem to be doing is turning a verb and noun phrase into a verbal noun or gerundive. I agree. This has a an affinity with my position on assertion. The verb contains something that turns a noun phrase such as 'Caesar's death' into 'Caesar died'. This cannot be nominalised, for if it could be, the verb would no longer be a verb. All the philosophical difficulties connected with the notion of assertion, truth, truthmaking, extralinguistic reality, Bradley's regress etc etc are down to this simple, almost trivial fact. The reality that we are trying to communicate by means of a sentence must include what we are communicating by a verb, and not just a verbal noun. Thus we cannot name or designate or refer to this reality. For naming or designation or reference is a function of noun phrases, not of verbs, and we can only communicate what is real - what is the case - by means of a verb.
Tom is seated ==> Tom's being seated
Which means that it cannot be 'a reality' at all. For the demonstrative noun phrase 'that reality' is ipso facto a noun phrase. We need to add that this putative reality is a reality, that it really is the case. But 'is the case' is a verb phrase. If we nominalise it, we are back to 'its being the case', which does not quite capture 'the reality'. Is its being the case a fact? Or is it something merely claimed by John, or Freddy? To convey the reality, we need a verb, and thus convey more than 'the reality'.
Yet Vallicella still wants more, so it seems.
And yet surely we cannot rest content with saying that 'Tom is seated' is just true. Surely there is more to a true sentence than the sentence that is true. It can't be language all the way down. Or all the way out. I get the sense that nominalists like Ed are flirting with linguistic idealism.Not really. There clearly is more to a true sentence than the sentence that is true. It's just that we can't name it or refer to it.