Can A Coherentist Be An Externalist?

Croatian Journal of Philosophy 6 (2):269-280 (2006)
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Abstract

It is standard practice, when distinguishing between the foundationalist and the coherentist, to construe the coherentist as an internalist. The coherentist, the construal goes, says that justification is solely a matter of coherence, and that coherence, in turn, is solely a matter of internal relations between beliefs. The coherentist, so construed, is an internalist (in the sense I have in mind) in that the coherentist, so construed, says that whether a belief is justified hinges solely on what the subject is like mentally. I argue that this practice is fundamentally misguided, by arguing that the foundationalism / coherentism debate and the internalism / externalism debate are about two very different things, so that there is nothing, qua coherentist, precluding the coherentist from siding with the externalist. I then argue that this spells trouble for two of the three most pressing and widely known objections to coherentism: the Alternative-Systems Objection and the Isolation Objection.

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William Roche
Texas Christian University

Citations of this work

Explanationist rebuttals (coherentism defended again).William G. Lycan - 2012 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (1):5-20.
Coherentism, truth, and witness agreement.William A. Roche - 2010 - Acta Analytica 25 (2):243-257.

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References found in this work

The structure of empirical knowledge.Laurence BonJour - 1985 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Belief, Truth and Knowledge.D. M. Armstrong - 1973 - London,: Cambridge University Press.
Evidentialism.Richard Feldman & Earl Conee - 1985 - Philosophical Studies 48 (1):15 - 34.
Contemporary Theories of Knowledge.John Pollock - 1986 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 39 (1):131-140.

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