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Keith Lehrer

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198248507

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198248507.001.0001

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The Knowledge Cycle

The Knowledge Cycle

(p.217) 9 The Knowledge Cycle

Keith Lehrer

Oxford University Press

This chapter explains the difference between a foundation theory and a coherence theory of epistemic justification. It argues that weak foundation theories fail to distinguish themselves from coherence theories in a fruitful manner. A coherence theory may be regarded as a metatheory of justification that enables people to derive principles of justification that might conform to the conditions offered for a foundation theory. A virtue of the theory is that, in addition to enabling people to decide what it is reasonable to accept as knowledge, it also enables people to explain why it is reasonable. Finally, the theory enables most people to explain how it could be reasonable to reject as knowledge what was formally accepted.

Keywords:   foundation theory, coherence theory, epistemic justification, metatheory, knowledge

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