Coherentism and Foundationalism

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Foundationalism vs. Coherentism Throughout history, philosophers have been trying to come up with a clear way to provide the justification of our beliefs and knowledge. Noah Lemos offers readers explanations of both foundationalism and coherentism for theories of justification. These two different theories offer very different ways to explain the basis of our beliefs. For a foundationalist, they believe that all of our beliefs can be broken down until we reach a basic belief. This belief would be largely independent of other beliefs and not derived from other beliefs. A coherentist feels that a belief can be reasonably justified if it is coheres with our other beliefs. The foundationalist theory of justification boils everything…show more content…
A coherentist however, would justify that the pot is hot through other beliefs that cohere with this belief. Some of these coherent beliefs would be: the remaining coffee in the pot is hot, the coffee is freshly brewed which would mean it is hot, I can see steam coming from the coffee in my mug, the coffee I’ve had every other day this week from the same pot have been hot and I can feel the warmth from the mug in my hand. All of these beliefs are not basic as a foundationalist would like, but they all cohere and provide reasonable justification for me to believe that the coffee in my mug is hot. It is my opinion that coherentists have a better argument for beliefs, and more specifically, this example. While I do think that there are many basic beliefs that are justified simply because they just are, I am not convinced that all the beliefs we have in this world can be broken down quite in this way. I do however, feel that many of our beliefs are based in a web of other believes that all support each other. I know that my coffee is hot for many reasons, one being that I can feel it. I don’t think that I necessarily need to break it down into experiences when I have many other clues that could more easily justify my belief. There are so many clues and beliefs around me to justify my belief that it’s not necessary to try and deduce anything. There are way too many complicated beliefs in the world that I do not feel they can all be traced back to basic
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