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Unconditional Truth in Practice

Unconditional Truth in Practice Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 3, No. 1 (June 2006), 37­50 Editions Rodopi © 2006 Even if unconditional truth is unattainable in principle, the ideal of unconditional truth has an important role to play in practice, according to Habermas. Habermas' position can be construed as descriptive or prescriptive. Either way, it faces considerable challenges. As a description, it raises classic philosophical problems. As a prescription, it raises many of the practical problems of religious fundamentalism, as Rorty argues. Trying to avoid the theoretical problems inherent to the concept of unconditional truth by nonepistemic means is not promising. 1. Unconditional Truth The concept of truth has a variety of meanings, two of which need to be distinguished before discussing unconditional truth. The statement "I want to know the truth about X" can mean "I want to observe X." In such statements, "the truth about X" is taken to be equivalent to X, which is the state of affairs in question. This is one use of the concept `truth': truth is construed as reality. Instead of understanding truth as reality, a truth can also be understood as something ­ namely, a statement, sentence, assertion, or proposition ­ that is about reality. Accordingly, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Pragmatism Brill

Unconditional Truth in Practice

Contemporary Pragmatism , Volume 3 (1): 37 – Apr 21, 2006

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2006 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1572-3429
eISSN
1875-8185
DOI
10.1163/18758185-90000031
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 3, No. 1 (June 2006), 37­50 Editions Rodopi © 2006 Even if unconditional truth is unattainable in principle, the ideal of unconditional truth has an important role to play in practice, according to Habermas. Habermas' position can be construed as descriptive or prescriptive. Either way, it faces considerable challenges. As a description, it raises classic philosophical problems. As a prescription, it raises many of the practical problems of religious fundamentalism, as Rorty argues. Trying to avoid the theoretical problems inherent to the concept of unconditional truth by nonepistemic means is not promising. 1. Unconditional Truth The concept of truth has a variety of meanings, two of which need to be distinguished before discussing unconditional truth. The statement "I want to know the truth about X" can mean "I want to observe X." In such statements, "the truth about X" is taken to be equivalent to X, which is the state of affairs in question. This is one use of the concept `truth': truth is construed as reality. Instead of understanding truth as reality, a truth can also be understood as something ­ namely, a statement, sentence, assertion, or proposition ­ that is about reality. Accordingly,

Journal

Contemporary PragmatismBrill

Published: Apr 21, 2006

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