, Volume 78, Issue 2, pp 451–468 | Cite as

Regulative Assumptions, Hinge Propositions and the Peircean Conception of Truth

  • Andrew W. HowatEmail author
Original Article


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’.


Ordinary Sense Indispensability Argument Constitutive Principle Hinge Proposition Stable Belief 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I am grateful to Prof. Chris Hookway, Dr. Joe Morrison, and two anonymous referees for invaluable commentary and conversation about this paper. I am also grateful to audiences at the University of Hull and the University of Sheffield for lively and useful discussion of the ideas contained herein.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyCalifornia State University, FullertonFullertonUSA

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