more from Laurence Bonjour

Single Idea 8891

[catalogued under 13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 5. Coherentism / c. Coherentism critique]

Full Idea

If coherentism is construed as involving the believer's entire body of beliefs, that would imply, most implausibly, that the justification of a belief in one area (physics) could be undermined by serious incoherence in another area (art history).

Gist of Idea

My incoherent beliefs about art should not undermine my very coherent beliefs about physics


Laurence Bonjour (A Version of Internalist Foundationalism [2003], 3.1)

Book Reference

Bonjour,L/Sosa,E: 'Epistemic Justification' [Blackwells 2003], p.45

A Reaction

Bonjour suggests that a moderated coherentism is needed to avoid this rather serious problem. It is hard to see how a precise specification could be given of 'areas' and 'local coherence'. An idiot about art would inspire little confidence on physics.