Martin Kusch

in Knowledge by Agreement

Published in print June 2002 | ISBN: 9780199251223
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191601767 | DOI:

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Argues that foundationalism and coherentism fail to give a satisfactory answer to the question of how our empirical beliefs are rationally constrained. Foundationalism claims that our empirical beliefs are rationally constrained by our non‐verbal experience. Non‐verbal experience is caused by events in the world. Coherentism suggests that empirical beliefs are rationally constrained only by other, further empirical beliefs. And beliefs are caused by sensations and worldly events. Foundationalism and coherentism fail because they seek to solve the problem of rational constraint at the level of the isolated individual. Normativity, however, presupposes a rational standard independent of the individual. And such a standard can be provided only by a community.

Keywords: coherentism; communitarianism; foundationalism; individualism; normativity; seems‐right vs. is‐right

Chapter.  3445 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Metaphysics

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