I put forward the following argument in the spirit of curiosity. On the face of it, the argument gives a conclusive reductio ad absurdum of any coherence theory of justification. But that cannot be right, can it?

  • (1)

    There are finite sets of beliefs such that each member of the set is epistemically supported by some other members (and nothing else). (Coherentism)

Comment: A belief b(p) is epistemically supported by the belief b(q) iff b(p)'s justifiedness or reasonableness (for a subject at a time) consists in part in b(p) standing in some relation of dependence to b(q). Exactly whatthat dependence relation is will be a matter of debate amongst coherentists. While a coherentist will typically prefer to say that a belief is justified in virtue of its being a member of a coherent set of...

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