Sunday, January 13, 2013

3.4 Why Coherentism?

First, to attack coherentism, let's consider what the foundationalists could say in the way of some basic beliefs. What about "I have a headache" or "Two plus two equals four"? Surely those beliefs are basic...

Coherentists could still say Nope. Each of those beliefs could have other beliefs given as reasons for them. Like I said previously, "I have a headache" or "Two plus two equals for" at least assumes other beliefs about how those words match to concepts. Now someone might ask, But then why don't more people ask for those reasons? And the answer I'd give is: For pragmatic reasons. If somebody says, "I have a headache," and someone else asks "How do you know?" that person would really be looked at as an odd duck. But that doesn't mean that other reasons couldn't be given, only that, practically speaking we don't ask or look for those other reasons. In those situations, we just don't do philosophy.

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