Responsible for Truth? Peirce on Judgment and Assertion
Cognitio, vol. 7, 2006, pp. 317-336
14 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2016
Date Written: 2006
I consider Peirce’s remarks on judgment and assertion, in particular his idea that a judgment, being an act of mental assent, is an internal act while an assertion is an external act. Related to that, I consider the question whether in asserting something we are responsible for the truth of what is asserted. I rather claim that we are responsible for conformity to actual belief (sincerity) and the way we fixed our belief.
Then I focus on the difficulties in assessing our responsibility in judging and asserting if judgment and assertion are considered in a narrow and separate sense. Furthermore, we should take into account the social and normative aspects of judging and asserting. So I argue for a broad conception of judgment, with assertion as one of its parts and modeled on the process of legal judgment. In this light, the idea of someone being responsible for the truth of his assertions will be reconsidered.
Keywords: Assertion, Judgment, Peirce, Truth
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