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Hegelian Metaphysics$
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Robert Stern

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199239108

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239108.001.0001

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Coherence as a Test For Truth

Coherence as a Test For Truth

(p.177) 6 Coherence as a Test For Truth
Hegelian Metaphysics

Robert Stern (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that the coherentism of the British Idealism, and in particular of F. H. Bradley, is importantly different from the sort of coherentism familiar in contemporary philosophy. For, while the latter is largely a theory of justification, holding that the structure of justification does not rest on any intrinsically justified beliefs, by contrast Bradley's coherentism is a test for truth, holding that we can only discover the truth by using coherence as a criterion, because we have no set of infallible beliefs against which others can be tested. It is then argued that with this distinction firmly in mind, certain traditional objections to coherentism can be re-assessed, particularly the role that experience is to play within our acquisition of knowledge.

Keywords:   coherentism, British Idealism, F. H. Bradley, criterion of truth, fallibilism, infallibilism, experience

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