Phronesis 58 (3):195-214 (2013)

Owen Goldin
Marquette University
Aristotle’s account of epistēmē is foundationalist. In contrast, the web of dialectical argumentation that constitutes justification for scientific principles is coherentist. Aristotle’s account of explanation is structurally parallel to the argument for a foundationalist account of justification. He accepts the first argument but his coherentist accounts of justification indicate that he would not accept the second. Where is the disanalogy? For Aristotle, the intelligibility of a demonstrative premise is the cause of the intelligibility of a demonstrated conclusion and causation is asymmetric. Within the Posterior Analytics itself, Aristotle does not account for this, but elsewhere he develops the resources for doing so: the cause is what acts on a substrate to actualize a potential in that substrate, resulting in the effect. On the other hand, it may well happen that two propositions entail each other, in which case one may as well justify the one on the basis of the other as vice versa.
Keywords Aristotle   knowledge   understanding   coherentism   demonstration   foundationalism
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DOI 10.1163/15685284-12341248
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References found in this work BETA

Belief, Truth and Knowledge.D. M. Armstrong - 1973 - Cambridge University Press.
Aristotle's First Principles.Terence Irwin - 1988 - Oxford University Press.
Belief, Truth and Knowledge.Peter D. Klein - 1976 - Philosophical Review 85 (2):225.

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Citations of this work BETA

Aristotle’s Definition of Scientific Knowledge.Lucas Angioni - 2016 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 19 (1):79-104.
Causality and Coextensiveness in Aristotle's Posterior Analytics 1.13.Lucas Angioni - 2018 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 54:159-185.
Comprehension, Demonstration, and Accuracy in Aristotle.Breno Zuppolini - 2020 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 58 (1):29-48.

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