Philosophical Studies 125 (3):305-325 (2005)

Tomoji Shogenji
Rhode Island College
In this paper we make three points about justification of propositions by coherence “from scratch”, where pieces of evidence that are coherent have no individual credibility. First, we argue that no matter how many pieces of evidence are coherent, and no matter what relation we take coherence to be, coherence does not make independent pieces of evidence with no individual credibility credible. Second, we show that an intuitively plausible informal reasoning for justification by coherence from scratch is deficient since it relies on an understanding of “individual credibility” inappropriate for justification from scratch. Third, we show that coherence, when it is recurrent, can make independent sources of evidence with no individual credibility credible. We describe specifically a case in which the same group of independent witnesses with no individual credibility repeatedly produce reports that are in agreement with each other, and their reports become credible as a result.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Logic   Philosophy of Mind   Philosophy of Religion
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11098-005-7775-z
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 50,488
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Theory of Knowledge.Roderick M. Chisholm - 1966 - Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice-Hall.
Conceptual Revolutions.Paul THAGARD - 1992 - Princeton University Press.

View all 23 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Unifying the Requirements of Rationality.Andrew Reisner - 2009 - Philosophical Explorations 12 (3):243-260.
On the Truth-Conduciveness of Coherence.William Roche - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S3):647-665.
Coherentism, Truth, and Witness Agreement.William A. Roche - 2010 - Acta Analytica 25 (2):243-257.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Does Probability Theory Refute Coherentism.Michael Huemer - 2011 - Journal of Philosophy 108 (1):35-54.
The Role of Coherence in Epistemic Justification.T. Shogenji - 2001 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 79 (1):90 – 106.
Against Coherence: Truth, Probability, Justification. [REVIEW]Tomoji Shogenji - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (1):292-296.
The Role of Coherence in Legal Reasoning.Barbara Baum Levenbook - 1984 - Law and Philosophy 3 (3):355 - 374.
Probability and Coherence Justification.Michael Huemer - 1997 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 35 (4):463-472.
The Incoherence of Coherence Theories.Richard Fumerton - 1994 - Journal of Philosophical Research 19:89-102.
Cohering With.Erik J. Olsson - 1999 - Erkenntnis 50 (2-3):273 - 291.
Chisholm and Coherence.Richard Foley - 1980 - Philosophical Studies 38 (1):53 - 63.
Fumerton on Coherence Theories.Laurence BonJour - 1994 - Journal of Philosophical Research 19:103-108.
Rock Bottom: Coherentism's Soft Spot.Bruce Russell - 2012 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (1):94-111.


Added to PP index

Total views
257 ( #28,901 of 2,326,561 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #641,093 of 2,326,561 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes