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    Bonjour's version of coherentism

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    What are the differences between Bonjour's version of coherentism and what he describes as weak foundationalism? How might a foundationalist argue against Bonjour's account?

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    1. What are the differences between Bonjour's version of coherentism and what he describes as weak foundationalism?

    Coherentism is a view about the structure of justification or knowledge. The coherentist's thesis is normally formulated in terms of a denial of its contrary foundationalism. Coherentism thus claims, minimally, that not all knowledge and justified belief rest ultimately on a foundation of noninferential knowledge or justified belief (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/justep-coherence/).
    BonJour (1985) presents a different objective account of the coherence relation, citing the following five features in his account:
    1. logical consistency;
    2. the extent to which the system in question is probabilistically consistent;
    3. the extent to which inferential connections exist between beliefs, both in terms of the number of such connections and their strength;
    4. the inverse of the degree to which the system is divided into unrelated, unconnected subsystems of belief; and
    5. the inverse of the degree to which the system of belief contains unexplained anomalies. (pp. 95,98)

    These factors are a good beginning toward an account of objective coherence, but by themselves they are not enough. We need to be told, in addition, what function on these five factors is the correct one by which to define coherence. That is, we need to know how to weight each of these ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution discusses the differences between Bonjour's version of coherentism and what he describes as weak foundationalism. It also discusses how a foundationalist might argue against Bonjour's account.

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