PHIL 450:  Study Questions for Foundationalism


1.  Explain or distinguish the following terms.  You may use examples to do so:

Foundational Belief/Foundational State

Basic Empirical Beliefs/Non-Basic Empirical Beliefs (in foundationalism)


2.  Is Chisholm's epistemology top-down or bottom-up?  Explain.


3. (a) What is the justificatory regress problem?  (b) What are the four alternative ways out of the regress problem?  (c) Which way out does the foundationalist endorse? 


4. (a) On Chisholm's account, what kind of beliefs are the foundational beliefs for empirical justification?  Explain.  (b) What sorts of states are foundational states for Chisholm?  Just list them. 


5.  On the Chisholmian account developed by Talbott in class, how could it become evident to me that I am looking at a yellow wall (when I am looking at one under normal lighting)? 


6.  The following questions concern BonJour's Feature-Φ Argument:  (a) What is the conclusion of the argument?  (b) What are the premises of the argument?  (c) Which premise will a foundationalist almost surely reject?   Explain why. 


7.  What is the Givenist's Dilemma?  In the selection we read, BonJour used the Givenist's Dilemma as an argument against foundationalism.  He later became a foundationalist.  What was his solution to the Givenist's Dilemma?


8.  What is the boundary problem?  (In your answer explain what kind of view it is a problem for.)  (b) What is Chisholm's response to the boundary problem?  (c) After he wrote the selection we read, BonJour became a foundationalist.  What is the later BonJour's response to the boundary problem?