The Current State of the Coherence Theory

The Current State of the Coherence Theory : Critical Essays on the Epistemic Theories of Keith Lehrer and Laurence BonJour, with Replies

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The subtitle of this book should be read as a qualification as much as an elaboration of the title. If the goal were completeness, then this book would have included essays on the work of other philosophers such as Wilfrid Sellars, Nicholas Rescher, Donald Davidson, Gilbert Harman and Michael Williams. Although it would be incorrect to say that each of these writers has set forth a version of the coherence theory of justification and knowledge, it is clear that their work is directly relevant, and reaction to it could easily fill a companion volume. This book concentrates, however, on the theories of Keith Lehrer and Laurence BonJour, and I doubt that any epistemologist would deny that they are presently the two leading proponents of coherentism. A sure indication of this was the ease with which the papers in this volume were solicited and delivered. The many authors represented here were willing, prepared, and excited to join in the discussion of BonJour's and Lehrer's recent writings. I thank each one personally for agreeing so freely to contribute. All of the essays but two are published for the first time here. Marshall Swain's and Alvin Goldman's papers were originally presented at a symposium on BonJour's The Structure of Empirical Knowledge at the annual meeting of the Central Division of the American Philosophical Association, Chicago, Illinois, in April, 1987.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 294 pages
  • 162.6 x 239.3 x 27.7mm | 635.04g
  • Dordrecht, Netherlands
  • English
  • 1989 ed.
  • X, 294 p.
  • 0792302206
  • 9780792302209

Table of contents

Coherence, Justification, and Knowledge: The Current Debate.- I. Abstracts of Contributed Essays.- II. Focus: The Work of Keith Lehrer.- 1. Lehrer's Coherentism and the Isolation Objection.- 2. Personal Coherence, Objectivity and Reliability.- 3. Fundamental Troubles With the Coherence Theory.- 4. Lehrer's Coherence Theory of Knowledge.- 5. How Reasonable is Lehrer's Coherence Theory? Beats Me..- 6. When Can What You Don't Know Hurt You?.- III. Focus: Laurence Bonjour's The Structure of Empirical Knowledge.- 1. BonJour's The Structure of Empirical Knowledge.- 2. BonJour's Coherence Theory of Justification.- 3. BonJour's Coherentism.- 4. Circularity, Non-Linear Justification, and Holistic Coherentism.- 5. Coherentist Theories of Knowledge Don't Apply to Enough Outside of Science and Don't Give the Right Results When Applied to Science.- 6. The St. Elizabethan World.- 7. Coherence, Observation, and the Justification of Empirical Belief.- 8. Epistemic Priority and Coherence.- 9. BonJour's Anti-Foundationalist Argument.- 10. Foundations.- IV. Focus: Coherence and Related Epistemic Concerns.- 1. The Unattainability of Coherence.- 2. Epistemically Justified Opinion.- 3. The Multiple Faces of Knowing: The Hierarchies of Epistemic Species.- 4. Equilibrium in Coherence?.- V. Coherentists Respond.- 1. Coherence and the Truth Connection: A Reply to My Critics.- 2. Replies and Clarifications.
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