Does Knowledge Have Foundations?

P. F. Strawson

in Philosophical Writings

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199587292
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728747 | DOI:
Does Knowledge Have Foundations?

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This chapter argues that the doctrine of foundations does not help us get a realistic picture of our knowledge-structures and belief-systems as they are — a picture which must, of course, among other things, show how propositions of present and remembered observation fit into the structures. It emphasizes the importance, at any stage at which reasons, criticism, inference are in question, of bodies of pre-existing knowledge or belief to provide an indispensable background for these reflective operations. The formation of such a corpus, in the case of each individual — the formation of that individual's world-picture — is the outcome of his exposure to, and interaction with, the world, including the training and instruction he receives from other members of his community; and that such exposure involves observation, seeing, and hearing, is another platitude which is not in question.

Keywords: metaphors; foundations; propositions; pre-existing knowledge; belief; platitude

Chapter.  4062 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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