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The Hermeneutics of Attaining Knowledge

The Hermeneutics of Attaining Knowledge

The Role of Judgmental Assent

(p.81) Chapter 4 The Hermeneutics of Attaining Knowledge
Orientation and Judgment in Hermeneutics
Rudolf A. Makkreel
University of Chicago Press

To develop a general theory of judgment that is adequate to the task of interpretation, chapter 4 examines the epistemic relation between meaning and truth in the Critique of Pure Reason. For Kant, knowing is a mode of holding something to be true. In knowing, the subject goes beyond cognizing by affirming that what is meant is also judged to be true. Hermeneutically, it is important to be able to distinguish what is objectively meaningful as cognition from what must also be subjectively assented to for it to count as knowledge. Cognitive judgments are anticipatory and project valid meaning claims whose truth must then be tested by referring back to its legitimating sources and by having individual judgmental assent confirmed by communal consent. An unwanted kind of consent exists in the case of prejudices, which may nevertheless be made useful by neutralizing them as preliminary judgments that can be tested and assented to on the basis of evidence.

Keywords:   cognition, knowledge, judgment, prejudice, meaning, truth, Kant

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