Alvin Plantinga

in Warrant: The Current Debate

Published in print July 1993 | ISBN: 9780195078626
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833559 | DOI:

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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

Chapter.  12017 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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