more from Gilbert Harman

Single Idea 6369

[catalogued under 13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 5. Coherentism / a. Coherence as justification]

Full Idea

According to Harman's negative coherence theory it is always permissible to adopt a new belief - any new belief; because beliefs are prima facie justified you do not need a reason for adopting a new belief.

Gist of Idea

In negative coherence theories, beliefs are prima facie justified, and don't need initial reasons


report of Gilbert Harman (Thought [1973]) by J Pollock / J Cruz - Contemporary theories of Knowledge (2nd) 3.4.1

Book Reference

Pollock,J.L./Cruz,J: 'Contemporary Theories of Knowledge (2nd)' [Rowman and Littlefield 1999], p.81

A Reaction

This must be placed alongside the fact that we don't usually choose our beliefs, but simply find ourselves believing because of the causal impact of evidence. This gives an unstated rational justification for any belief - something caused it.