Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal

Volume 11, April 2018

Kate Kennedy
Pages 107-117

Ideal Cognition
A Narrowly Constrained Relative Pragmatism

Both the nature and aim of human cognition are philosophically divisive topics. On one side, there are the evidentialists who believe that the sole purpose of cognition is to seek and find truths. In contrast, pragmatists appeal to cognition solely as a tool, something that helps people achieve their goals. In this paper, I put forward an account of cognition and its aims fundamentally based on a pragmatic viewpoint. Crucially, however, I claim that an evolutionary pragmatic picture of cognition must assert rationality as a core tenant of human thought, mooring a relative pragmatism within a system logic and rationality.