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PluralismAgainst the Demand for Consensus$
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Nicholas Rescher

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198236016

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198236016.001.0001

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Is Consensus Required in the Pursuit of Truth?

Is Consensus Required in the Pursuit of Truth?

Chapter:
(p.21) 2 Is Consensus Required in the Pursuit of Truth?
Source:
Pluralism
Author(s):

Nicholas Rescher

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198236016.003.0002

This chapter examines the importance of consensus in the pursuit of truth. It discusses the philosophy of prominent exponents and advocates of cognitive consensus including Aristotle and his Nicomachean Ethics, Saint Augustine, John Stuart Mill, Charles Sanders Peirce, and Jürgen Habermas. It identifies opponents and critics of cognitive consensus that include sceptics, cognitive elitists, and social science critics. This chapter concludes that as far as rational inquiry is concerned, consensus is no more than a regulative ideal that cannot be expected to be achieved in concrete situations.

Keywords:   consensus, truth, Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Saint Augustine, John Stuart Mill, Charles Sanders Peirce, Jürgen Habermas, sceptics, cognitive elitists

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