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In philosophy, a fact is either a true proposition or something (a state of affairs, for example) that "makes" a proposition true. (See truthmaker) In law, a fact is a statement which is found to be true by a trier of fact, sometimes a jury, but often the court (the judge or judges) after hearing evidence.
--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fact [Feb 2006]
Social factIn positivist sociology, a social fact is an abstraction external to the individual which constrains that individual's actions. Law is an example, the suicide rate in a given community another. Thus a social fact is an external constraint, such as a norm or institution, within the collective consience or collective representations, which is internalized by individuals as morals which inevitably constrain their behaviour (Marshall 1994: 486). The term was coined by 19th century French sociologist Emile Durkheim, and was crucial to Durkheim's analysis of society (and to that of his followers) but is little used today. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_fact [Feb 2005]
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