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lecture_14_2x2 - Announcements and Such One Song Traffic...

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Announcements and Such One Song — Traffic “Every Mother’s Son” from John Barleycorn Must Die Make sure you get your first essays back (GSIs) Second essay will be assigned on March 20th. Today: Part II of three parts on the Architecture of Knowledge ( very serious theoretical epistemology) Various kinds of foundationalism are compatible with the epistemic regress argument (ERA). Strong foundationalism: indirectly justified beliefs get all their justification from F . Moderate foundationalism: indirectly justified beliefs would not have any justification were it not for F , but they can get some justification from other sources (perhaps even coherence !). The main alternative to foundationalism is coherentism , which says (broadly construed): The justifiedness of a belief depends on its coherence with other beliefs one holds . There are various versions of coherentism. We’ll begin with “circular” vs “holistic” coherentisms. The Architecture of Knowledge II Foundationalism vs Coherentism Circular coherentism holds that, for each (justified) belief B , there is a (justificatory) line going from premises P to B , and from other premises P* to the first set P , and so on, until we return to the original proposition B as a premise. We may never actually trace the line (making the appropriate inferences), but it is always there . On this sort of view, it is natural to to allow variation in the unit of coherence (the set of other beliefs that B must cohere with in order to receive justification), depending on the “size of B ’s circle” We have seen problems with circular epistemic chains, so this sort of coherentism is troubled. We will focus on another kind of coherentism that is non - linear : it is called holistic coherentism. The Architecture of Knowledge II Circular Coherentism Holistic coherentism is epistemically non- foundationalist, since it doesn’t think all justification is ultimately grounded (in F ). That is, it doesn’t think that epistemic chains must terminate in some foundational justified belief(s). Indeed, holistic coherentism differs both from foundationalism and from circular coherentism in that it denies that justification is linear . For the holistic coherentist, all of S ’s beliefs are tied together in a holsitic web”of belief , and the degree of coherence of B with the entire web contributes to B ’s degree of justification (for S ). 3 issues: (1) how to respond to the ERA?, (2) what is “coherence”?, (3) does coherence really contribute The Architecture of Knowledge II Holistic Coherentism
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Remember, there are really two sorts of regress: Inferential regress [ psychological ] Epistemic regress [ epistemological ] The holistic coherentist’s response to the inferential regress argument is to accept its conclusion : psychological foundationalism is right! That is, the holistic coherentist simply
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