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Extracts from Dewey

Dewey, J. 1938/Log Logic: The Theory of Inquiry.

3.17 Formal Functions and Cannons p. 328
iii. Formal Cannons of Relations of Propositions p. 344
1. Identity . . . p. 345
... In scientific inquiry, every conclusion reached, whether of fact or conception, is held subject to determination by its fate in further inquires. Stability or "identity" of meanings is a limiting ideal, as a condition to be progressively satisfied. The conditional status of scientific conclusions (conditional in the sense of subjection to revision in further inquiry) is sometimes used by critics to disparage scientific "truths" in comparison with those which are alleged to be eternal and immutable. In scientific "truths" fact, it is a necessary condition of continuous advance in apprehension and in understanding.6

6 Peirce' definition The best definition of truth which is known to me is that of Peirce: "The opinion which is fated to be ultimately agreed to by all who investigate is what we mean by the truth, and the object represented by this opinion is the real." [[Pei34]], p. 268. A more complete (and more suggestive) statement is the following: "Truth is that concordance of an abstract statement with the ideal limit towards which endless investigation would tend to bring scientific belief, which concordance the abstract statement may possess by virtue of the confession of its inaccuracy and one-sidedness, and this confession is an essential ingredient of truth." (Ibid., pp. 394-5).

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Dewey Index