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Warrant: The Current Debate$
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Alvin Plantinga

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780195078626

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195078624.001.0001

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Coherentism

Coherentism

Chapter:
(p.66) 4 Coherentism
Source:
Warrant: The Current Debate
Author(s):

Alvin Plantinga (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195078624.003.0004

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.

Keywords:   coherentism, foundationalism, noetic structure, proper basicality, warrant

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