Putnam and Davidson on Coherence, Truth, and Justification

The Science of Mind 54:51-70 (2016)
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Abstract

Putnam and Davidson both defended coherence theories of justification from the early 1980s onward. There are interesting similarities between these theories, and Putnam’s philosophical development lead to further convergence in the 1990s. The most conspicuous difference between Putnam’s and Davidson’s theories is that they appear to fundamentally disagree on the role and nature of conceptual schemes, but a closer look reveals that they are not as far apart on this issue as usually assumed. The veridicality of perceptual beliefs is a cornerstone of both Davidson’s and Putnam’s later (but not earlier) coherentism. However, this thesis introduces a form of weak foundationalism into their theories, and consequently, those are strictly speaking not pure coherence theories, but hybrids between coherentism and foundationalism.

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Lajos L. Brons
Lakeland University

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