The first thing to be done is to clarify the distinction between factual statements and methodological statements, because this is closely-but not simply-connected with the distinction between determinate and indeterminate statements. In Chapter I the expression ‘methodological statement’ was taken to mean, in ordinary usage, an explicit statement about methods of treating things for specific purposes, normally phrased in some such form as “ A is to be treated as B for purpose M ” . The expression ‘factual statement’, however, has so far not been defined at all, because it could not be defined satisfactorily except in terms of our present contextual analysis. (‘Fact’ is one of the key words about whose meaning philosophers do not agree.)
How then are the words ‘fact’ and ‘factual statement’ normally used. This question depends upon the further question how ‘normally used’
is normally used. Although this further question is controversial, I leave its examination until later (Chapter XII), since for the moment a precise answer is not needed. All we are here concerned with is to describe some uses of the word ‘fact’ and ‘factual statement’ which are very common-so common that there is I think no chance of the reader’s failing to agree that they are indeed normal usages.