In this chapter, I consider coherentism taken generally (rather than this or that particular variety of coherentism), and argue that it does not afford the resources for a satisfactory account of warrant. We can better understand coherentism, I think, by contrasting it with foundationalism; I accordingly begin with an examination of ordinary foundationalism (and, in so doing, introduce the notion of proper basicality and the notion of a noetic structure). Turning next to coherentism, we find that the coherentist claims that coherence is both necessary and sufficient for warrant in that a proposition has warrant for me if and only if it is coherent with my noetic structure or appropriately follows from propositions that are coherent with my noetic structure. I argue that the coherentist is wrong on both counts – coherence is neither necessary nor sufficient for warrant. I then close with a short discussion of classical foundationalism.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.