Essay On Pragmatist Truth

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The process for Peirce involves a «progressive investigation», which he defines as the «activity of thought by which we are carried, not where we wish, but to a foreordained goal, [-the impersonal truth]» (CP 5.407 1878). This idea is also captured in the following words of Peirce;

The real, then, is that which, sooner or later, information and reasoning would finally result in, and which is therefore independent of the vagaries of me and you. Thus, the very origin of the conception of reality shows that this conception essentially involves the notion of a COMMUNITY, without definite limits, and capable of a definite increase of knowledge (CP 5.311, 1868).

If for the pragmatist what constitutes knowledge is the end product, why then is he concerned with the
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The «here-and-now» instances in the movement of the knowledge process in relation to the truth are very significant for pragmatists. For the pragmatist truth is discovered through inquiry. This discovery involves a process where we take different epistemic stances in relation to the truth-claim at different times. At one instant, we are presumptive, and at another, we are categorical about it . According to Douglas McDermid, this means that truth is «something that inquirers pursue and approach gradually through a lengthy series of approximations» . That means while the truth that is sought for in inquiry is invariable, not tentative and indefeasible, it is discovered and not created, our beliefs or rather claims to knowledge nevertheless could be presumptive, tentative, provisional, categorical or actual at different stages depending on (1) the level of epistemic justification they possess at that specific time (2) our freedom from ignorance and (3) their correspondence to reality. Therefore when we say that «X knows that P» we must be ready to acknowledge the epistemic status of the claim at the moment

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