The Role of Existential Judgments in Knowing the Existence of Beings


Tomasz Duma


Espíritu: ISSN 0014-0716, Year 63, Year 148 (july-december), 2014, pages 317-331




In this paper I am going to focus on describing the character and role of the cognitive acts whereby we apprehend the existence of beings. In the first point, I take note of the main difficulties connected with explaining man’s knowing of the existence of beings. In the next step, I present a specific description of the existential judgment as the fundamental cognitive act in which the intellect apprehends the existence of known things. I will base my discussion of this basic cognitive act on the interpretation of the Polish philosopher M. A. Krąpiec, who in comparison with other authors has most systematically and exhaustively formulated this question. The next element in the presentation will be an analysis of the structure and content of the existential judgment in which I will remark on the presence and role of the existential factor of known being in the act of knowledge. I will conclude the paper by emphasizing the basic function of the existential judgment in all metaphysical knowledge, which in light of the analyses that have been made turns out to be nothing other than the explicit expression of what in actu confuse is already contained in the first cognitive act. Above all, I note that the discovery of the role of the existential judgment in human knowledge provides a rational justification for realism of knowledge, and thereby it refutes the grounds for sceptical, agnostic, and relativistic positions in epistemology

Key words:

Existence, judgment, being, knowledge



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