more from Hilary Putnam

Single Idea 7616

[catalogued under 3. Truth / E. Pragmatic Truth / 1. Pragmatic Truth]

Full Idea

Truth is an idealisation of rational acceptability; we speak as if there were such things as epistemically ideal conditions, and we call a statement 'true' if it would be justified under such conditions.

Gist of Idea

Truth is an idealisation of rational acceptability


Hilary Putnam (Reason, Truth and History [1981], Ch.3)

Book Reference

Putnam,Hilary: 'Reason, Truth and History' [CUP 1998], p.55

A Reaction

The second part makes human beings sound stupid (which they are not), but the first part is right, and incredibly important. Peirce is behind Putnam's thought. Truth is the target of belief. It isn't a nonsense just because we can't be infallible.