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Philosophical Writings$
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P. F. Strawson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199587292

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199587292.001.0001

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Does Knowledge Have Foundations?

Does Knowledge Have Foundations?

(p.100) 8 Does Knowledge Have Foundations?
Philosophical Writings

P. F. Strawson

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that the doctrine of foundations does not help us get a realistic picture of our knowledge-structures and belief-systems as they are — a picture which must, of course, among other things, show how propositions of present and remembered observation fit into the structures. It emphasizes the importance, at any stage at which reasons, criticism, inference are in question, of bodies of pre-existing knowledge or belief to provide an indispensable background for these reflective operations. The formation of such a corpus, in the case of each individual — the formation of that individual's world-picture — is the outcome of his exposure to, and interaction with, the world, including the training and instruction he receives from other members of his community; and that such exposure involves observation, seeing, and hearing, is another platitude which is not in question.

Keywords:   metaphors, foundations, propositions, pre-existing knowledge, belief, platitude

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