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Epistemology is the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature, conditions, and extent of human knowledge. It asks questions like: “What. CAN EMPIRICAL KNOWLEDGE HAVE A FOUNDATION. advertisement A FOUNDATION? Laurence Bonjour Again, what is the doctrine of the given???. Reading Bonjour, and this essay is a little wordy. Anyone care to summarize?.

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How can a contingent, empirical belief impart epistemic “motion” to other empirical beliefs unless it is itself in “motion”?

Questions about philosophy, e. His argument centers around justification, which he thinks goes something like: This entry was posted in Philosophy. RE and Science Unit Overview. Come only from those with relevant knowledge of the question i.

Specific enough to be reasonably be answered i.

“Can Empirical Knowledge Have a Foundation?” : askphilosophy

OK, so Bonjour’s arguing against the foundationalist view in epistemology. Andrej Ule – – Acta Analytica 19 And hence discussions of foundationalism, both pro and con, which concentrate on this stronger but inessential claim are in serious danger of bypassing the main issue: Sebastian Lutz – – Synthese But is such a status any easier to understand in epistemology than it is in theology?

Consider a parallel case: And thus it would seem to be logically quite possible for S1 to occur in the absence of S2, in which case, of course belief B would be false. Log in or sign up in seconds. How is it similar??? Nothing about the foundationalist response to the regress requires that basic beliefs be more than adequately justified.


The fundamental concept of moderate foundationalism, as of empirical foundationalism generally, is the concept of a basic empirical belief. Permission to Practice The jnowledge to religious freedom is essential in a. The most basic idea is that the relation between the various particular beliefs is not one of linear dependence; but one of mutual or reciprocal support.

Bonjour agrees with Chisholm as to what the four potential solutions to the regress problem would have to be like. Request removal from index. Anyone care to summarize?


A coherent system must be consistent, but a consistent system need not be very coherent. I argued there that the fundamental role which the requirement of epistemic justification serves in the overall rationale of the concept of knowledge is that of a means to truth; and accordingly that a basic constraint on any account of the standards of justification for empirical knowledge is that there be good reasons for thinking that following those standards is at least likely to lead to truth.

In particular, he thinks 1 is going to be empirically justified. And thus his acceptance of B is no more rational or responsible from an epistemic standpoint than would be the acceptance of a subjectively similar belief for which the external relation in question failed to obtain. Therefore, the justification of a supposed basic empirical belief must depend on the justification of at least one other empirical belief, contradicting I ; it follows that there can be no basic empirical beliefs.

Email required Address never made public. Rules You can find a full list of the subreddit rules here. Why does Bonjour write this: Beliefs having feature f are highly likely to be true.

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For a system of beliefs to be justified, according to the CTEK, it must not be merely coherent to some extent, but more coherent than any currently available alternative. How can coherence, not itself an independent source of justification on a foundationalist view, justify the rejection of some initially credible beliefs and enhance the justification of others? Or, even more paradoxically, how can such a fpundation epistemically “move” itself?

I will discuss this view, the doctrine of the empirically given, in Chapter 4.


Unfortunately, however, the meanings of these four terms have very rarely been made clear. Note again that we need not assume here that the classical given need not be known with certainty or indubitability. Thus this independent warrant must somehow be augmented if knowledge is to be achieved, and the usual appeal here is to coherence with other such minimally warranted beliefs. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement and Privacy Policy.

Certainty is most naturally interpreted as pertaining to one’s psychological state of conviction, or perhaps to the status of a proposition as logically or metaphysically necessary, with neither of these interpretations having any immediate epistemic import.

A more specific analysis of the problem in this particular instance: