Full Text


Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


E pistemology [from Latin cohaerere , to adhere together, stick together] Coherentism is a theory of epistemic justification, in opposition to foundationalism . It denies the view that there is a set of self-warranting perceptual beliefs that serve as the ultimate justification for all other beliefs. Instead, it suggests that all beliefs form a network within which each has equal epistemic status. A cognitive system is a family of interrelated theses that are linked to one another by an interlacing network of connections. These connections are inferential in nature but not necessarily deductive. Justification is a matter of coherence. A belief is justified if and only if it coheres with the background system of beliefs. There are various ways of understanding the nature of coherence; and different views of what coherence is form different versions of coherentism. Since coherence is essentially an internal relation among beliefs, there is a major difficulty for coherentism to deal with, that is, how to fill the gap between justified belief and external reality. It is also difficult for this theory to accommodate perceptual knowledge. In another usage, coherentism means the view that a complete inductive logic is restricted to a principle of credal coherence. “Coherentism … views the network-inter-relatedness of factual theses as the criterial standard of their acceptability.” ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top