Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 35 (1):71-95 (2021)

Authors
Luca Zanetti
University of Bologna
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to vindicate the Cartesian quest for certainty by arguing that to aim at certainty is a constitutive feature of cognition. My argument hinges on three observations concerning the nature of doubt and judgment: first, it is always possible to have a doubt as to whether p in so far as one takes the truth of p to be uncertain; second, in so far as one takes the truth of p to be certain, one is no longer able to genuinely wonder whether p is true; third, to ask the question whether p is to desire to receive a true answer. On this ground I clarify in what sense certainty is the aim of cognition. I then argue that in judging that p we commit ourselves to p’s being certain and that certainty is the constitutive norm of judgment. The paper as a whole provides a picture of the interplay between doubt and judgment that aims at vindicating the traditional insight that our ability to doubt testifies our aspiration to know with absolute certainty.
Keywords certainty  doubt  aim of belief  judgment  constitutive norms  aim of questioning
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DOI 10.1515/krt-2021-0005
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References found in this work BETA

Cartesian Meditations.Edmund Husserl - 1960 - [The Hague]M. Nijhoff.
Doxastic Deliberation.Nishi Shah & J. David Velleman - 2005 - Philosophical Review 114 (4):497-534.
How to Be a Fallibilist.Stewart Cohen - 1988 - Philosophical Perspectives 2:91-123.
Why Suspend Judging?Jane Friedman - 2017 - Noûs 51 (2):302-326.

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