David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Australasian Journal of Philosophy 79 (1):90 – 106 (2001)
Among many reasons for which contemporary philosophers take coherentism in epistemology seriously, the most important is probably the perceived inadequacy of alternative accounts, most notably misgivings about foundationalism. But coherentism also receives straightforward support from cases in which beliefs are apparently justified by their coherence. From the perspective of those against coherentism, this means that an explanation is needed as to why in these cases coherence apparently justifies beliefs. Curiously, this task has not been carried out in a serious way in the anti-coherentist literature although there is no scarcity of objections to coherentism. The traditional charge has been that justification by coherence is circular. More recently the isolation problem allegedly reveals that coherentism justifies beliefs that should not be justified. Questions have also been raised with respect to the basing relation and feasibility.1 However, these objections do not explain why some beliefs appear to be justified by their coherence. This paper fills this gap in the anti-coherentist literature by offering a noncoherentist account of justification by coherence. The paper proceeds as follows. Section I delineates the framework of discussion and develops some conceptual tools needed in later analyses. Section II argues that there are genuine cases of an increase in existing empirical justification by coherence, but that it does not require coherence to generate additional justification—coherence serves as a channel of justification among beliefs, which is no more problematic than channeling of justification from basic to derived beliefs in foundationalism. Section III makes a stronger case for justification by coherence, where each of the coherent beliefs has no independent empirical justification; but Section IV argues that even in these cases coherence need not generate justification—coherence licenses the channeling of justification from outside sources..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Amalia Amaya (2011). Legal Justification by Optimal Coherence. Ratio Juris 24 (3):304-329.
Tomoji Shogenji (2005). Justification by Coherence From Scratch. Philosophical Studies 125 (3):305 - 325.
Axel Gelfert (2009). Rigorous Results, Cross-Model Justification, and the Transfer of Empirical Warrant: The Case of Many-Body Models in Physics. Synthese 169 (3):497 - 519.
Amalia Amaya (2013). Coherence, Evidence, and Legal Proof. Legal Theory 19 (1):1-43.
William Roche (2013). On the Truth-Conduciveness of Coherence. Erkenntnis:1-19.
Similar books and articles
Barbara Baum Levenbook (1984). The Role of Coherence in Legal Reasoning. Law and Philosophy 3 (3):355 - 374.
Peter Murphy, Coherentism. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Michael Huemer (1997). Probability and Coherence Justification. Southern Journal of Philosophy 35 (4):463-472.
Amalia Amaya (2008). Justification, Coherence, and Epistemic Responsibility in Legal Fact-Finding. Episteme 5 (3):pp. 306-319.
Erik J. Olsson (1999). Cohering With. Erkenntnis 50 (2-3):273 - 291.
Richard Schantz (1999). The Role of Sensory Experience in Epistemic Justification: A Problem for Coherentism. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 50 (2-3):177-191.
Staffan Angere (2007). The Defeasible Nature of Coherentist Justification. Synthese 157 (3):321 - 335.
Charles B. Cross (1995). Probability, Evidence, and the Coherence of the Whole Truth. Synthese 103 (2):153 - 170.
James A. Keller (1986). Foundationalism, Circular Justification, and the Levels Gambit. Synthese 68 (2):205 - 212.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads37 ( #47,309 of 1,102,742 )
Recent downloads (6 months)12 ( #16,202 of 1,102,742 )
How can I increase my downloads?