Epistemic norms and the Sellarsian dilemma for foundationalism

Foundationalists and coherentists disagree over the structure of the part of the mental state corpus that is relevant for epistemic achievement (Bonjour, 1999; Dancy, 1989; Haack, 1993; Sosa, 1980; Pollock and Cruz, 1999). Given the goals of a theory of epistemic justification and the trajectory of the debate over the last three decades, it is not difficult to see how structural questions possess a kind of immediacy. In order to undertake an epistemic evaluation of a belief, one intuitive and appealing strategy is to investigate the reasons for that belief to determine whether it is epistemically positive, where the reasons are typically other beliefs. This demands that we must in turn determine whether the reasons for the belief are themselves justified. A regress looms (and thus a regress argument is in the making), and foundationalism and coherentism propose proprietary views on the structural relations between beliefs with an eye toward resolving it.
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