Ideas of Peter Klein, by Theme

[American, b.1940, Professor at Rutgers University, New Jersey.]

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2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 6. Coherence
Why should we prefer coherent beliefs?
     Full Idea: A key question for a coherentist is, why should he or she adopt a coherent set of beliefs rather than an incoherent set?
     From: Peter Klein (Infinitism solution to regress problem [2005], 'Step 1')
     A reaction: The point of the question is that the coherentist may have to revert to other criteria in answering it. One could equally ask, why should I believe in tables just because I vividly experience them? Or, why believe 2+2=4, just because it is obvious?
13. Knowledge Criteria / A. Justification Problems / 2. Justification Challenges / a. Agrippa's trilemma
Infinitism avoids a regress, circularity or arbitrariness, by saying warrant just increases
     Full Idea: Infinitism can solve the regress problem, because it endorses a warrant-emergent form of reasoning in which warrant increases as the series of reasons lengthens. The theory can avoid both circularity and arbitrariness.
     From: Peter Klein (Infinitism solution to regress problem [2005], 'Step 2')
     A reaction: It nicely avoids arbitrariness by offering a reason for absolutely every belief. I think the way to go may to combine individual Infinitism with a social account of where to set the bar of acceptable justification.
13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 4. Foundationalism / e. Pro-foundations
If justification is endless, no link in the chain is ultimately justified
     Full Idea: An endless chain of inferential justifications can never ultimately explain why any link in the chain is justified.
     From: comment on Peter Klein (Infinitism solution to regress problem [2005]) by Carl Ginet - Infinitism not solution to regress problem p.148
     A reaction: This strikes me as a mere yearning for foundations. I don't see sense-experience or the natural light of human reason (or the word of God, for that matter) as in any way 'ultimate'. It's all evidence to be evaluated.
13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 5. Coherentism / a. Coherence as justification
Reasons acquire warrant through being part of a lengthening series
     Full Idea: The infinitist holds that finding a reason, and then another reason for that reason, places it at the beginning of a series where each gains warrant as part of the series. ..Rational credibility increases as the series lengthens.
     From: Peter Klein (Infinitism solution to regress problem [2005], p.137)
     A reaction: A striking problem here for Klein is the status of the first reason, prior to it being supported by a series. Surprisingly, it seems that it would not yet be a justification. Coherence accounts have the same problem, if coherence is the only criterion.