Original Article


, Volume 78, Issue 2, pp 451-468

First online:

Regulative Assumptions, Hinge Propositions and the Peircean Conception of Truth

  • Andrew W. HowatAffiliated withDepartment of Philosophy, California State University, Fullerton Email author 

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This paper defends a key aspect of the Peircean conception of truth—the idea that truth is in some sense epistemically-constrained. It does so by exploring parallels between Peirce’s epistemology of inquiry and that of Wittgenstein in On Certainty. The central argument defends a Peircean claim about truth by appeal to a view shared by Peirce and Wittgenstein about the structure of reasons. This view relies on the idea that certain claims have a special epistemic status, or function as what are popularly called ‘hinge propositions’.