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12. Finitude, Rational Justification & Mutual Recognition

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Chapter Summary

Individual rational judgment, of the kind required for rational justification in non-formal, substantive domains is in fundamental part socially and historically based, although these social and historical bases of rational justification are consistent with realism about the objects of empirical knowledge and with strict objectivity about basic moral principles. This chapter examines only a few facets of Hegel's analysis, and shows that in fundamental part rational justification in substantive domains is social and historical. It discusses against strong individualism, whilst affirming the mutual interdependence of social and individual aspects of, or factors in, rational justification. Truth in the non-formal domain of empirical knowledge involves proper classification or description, in short 'correspondence'. Hence the social and historical aspects of rational justification in non-formal domains do not entail that truth is merely a social or historical phenomenon. The chapter also discusses the significance of Hegel's account of mutual recognition for rational justification.

Keywords: Hegel; historical phenomenon; infallibilism; mutual recognition; rational justification; realism

10.1163/9789004262607_013
/content/books/b9789004262607_013
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