The Subject and the Quest for Truth: Heidegger and Lonergan on Truth
Keywords:Intentional subject, Dasein, Truth, Judgement, Cognitional acts
Since the “elimination of the subject” from truth discourse by Frege, by identifying the subject—or rather the subjective—with the private and personal, philosophical investigations of truth have consciously or unconsciously truncated the role of the knowing subject in the quest for truth. The neglect of the subject has turned the exploration of truth into logical, semantic, conceptual or linguistic analysis of the truth predicate. The consequence of this is that some philosophers tend to treat truth as if it does not really matter; as is shown by their deflationary attitude towards truth or even the total denial of truth. Despite the prevalent elimination of the subject from truth discourses, two thinkers that acknowledge the importance of the subject in the exposition of the concept of truth are Martin Heidegger and Bernard Lonergan. In this paper I explore their positions and argue that Heidegger’s situating of the centrality of Dasein in relation to truth in disclosedness—as the basic state of Dasein’s ontological constitution—is inadequate. Following Lonergan, I argue that an adequate account of the centrality of the role of the subject can only be situated in the cognitional acts of the subject within the context of the human quest for knowledge, and that the pivotal cognitional act is the act of judgment.
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