Kartezjańskie inspiracje w tomizmie otwartym Piotra Chojnackiego
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The aim of the article is the presentation and critical analysis of Piotr Chojnacki’s theory of cognition. Chojnacki was one of the most eminent representatives of the Polish open Thomism at the beginning of the 20th century. The starting point of our analysis is the investigation into the role played by Cartesian epistemic assumptions in Chojnacki’s open Thomism and in his theory of truth, in particular. Chojnacki regards objective evidence and certainty of cognitive acts as criteria of truth. The certainty of cognitive acts is understood as a result of the relation between the human cognitive apparatus and the “objective states”, i.e., states of affairs. However, a distinction made by Chojnacki between objective and subjective certainty is rather troublesome, and hence, finally, he accepts convergence as a criterion of propositional truth. Convergence is apprehended as concurrence of cognitive results obtained by many subjects using various epistemic methods. Such a convergence is to be a tool whose aim is to eliminate subjectivistic components in human cognition. In other words, convergence should enable us to achieve an objective evidence conceived as the foundation of truth of cognitive acts. The role played by convergence in Chojnacki’s theory of truth means, in fact, his departure from the classic conception of truth. Moreover, it follows from our analysis of Chojnacki’s views concerning human cognition that the congruence theory of truth has been essentially changed by a certain version of a coherence theory of truth to which Chojnacki has resorted. The final conclusion of the article is that the essence of Chojnacki’s Cartesianism lies in assuming that convergence is a criterion of congruence, that is, a relation between propositions and states of affairs making them true.
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