I.† Dancy's Coherence Theory of Justification
††††† 1.† Justification is symmetric
††††† Why is justification asymmetric for the Foundationalist?
††††† What does a coherence theory look like from the point of view of the regress problem?† [See Fumerton (216).]† Why is this a mistaken way of thinking about a coherence theory?
††††† Why is the notion of inference asymmetrical?†
††††† 2.† A set of beliefs is coherent to the extent that the members are mutually explanatory and consistent.
††††† 3.† The full account:† If a's belief set is more coherent with the belief that p as a member than without it or with any alternative, a is (or would be) justified in believing that p.
††††† Why is this account of justification holistic?
II.† Dancy's Coherence Theory of Truth:
††††† A proposition is true ů It is a member of a coherent set.†
††††† The plurality objection. Fumerton argues that this makes truth relative (217).
††††† Why not combine the Coherence Theory of Justification with the Correspondence Theory of Truth?
Fumertonís Objections to a
Coherence Theory of Justification
††††† 1.† Fumerton argues that on a coherence theory of justification is arbitrary.† Why?
††††† 2. Fumerton also argues that we must distinguish between the coherence of a set of beliefs and the subjectís apprehension of that coherence.† What is this problem?
††††† 3.† Fumerton argues that justification does not require logical consistency:† the Lottery Paradox.
††††† But the biggest problem of all is this:†
III.† The Input Problem for Coherence Theories of Empirical Justification
††††† According to the coherentist, empirical justification is solely a product of relations of mutual support among beliefs.† So for the coherentist, empirical justification does not require any connection to the way the world actually is.† But there are many different coherent sets of propositions that are incompatible with each other.† Coherentism provides no rational basis for preferring any of them over any of the others.† But it is hard to see how empirical justification could be this disconnected from the real world.† For empirical beliefs to be justified, it seems necessary that there be some appropriate process by which the world can affect those beliefs.† This would be an additional constraint on empirical justification, in addition to any coherence considerations.
III.† Dancy's Reply:† Antecedent and subsequent security
††††† Pure coherentism vs. weak coherentism
(Is weak coherentism a form of foundationalism?)
††††† Genetic asymmetry vs. justificatory asymmetry
††††† Justificatory symmetry:† Equal antecedent security for all beliefs
††††† What is Dancy's final response to the Input Problem?
††††† The coherentist can be an empiricist.† Is this correct?
††††† What would Dancy say about Fumerton's example of back pain?
IV.† The Problem of Too Much Coherence:† Berkeleyís Theory of Perception or the Paranoid Schizophrenic
††††† Perhaps the coherence theory is not a complete theory of justification.† Perhaps it is only a theory of reasoning.† The claim would be that all reasoning fits an equilibrium model.
††††† If this is true, then, on the usual understanding of the term, there are, reasoning is not inferential.† Strictly speaking, there are no inferences.
††††† Inferences are one way. Reasoning is multi-directional.