BonJour’s ‘Basic Antifoundationalist Argument’ and the Doctrine of the Given

Southern Journal of Philosophy 36 (2):163-177 (1998)
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Laurence BonJour observes that critics of foundationalism tend to argue against it by objecting to "relatively idiosyncratic" versions of it, a strategy which has "proven in the main to be superficial and ultimately ineffective" since answers immune to the objections emerge quickly (1985: 17). He aims to rectify this deficiency. Specifically, he argues that the very soul of foundationalism, "the concept of a basic empirical belief," is incoherent (1985: 30). This is a bold strategy from which we can learn even if, in the end, as I shall argue, it fails.

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Daniel Howard-Snyder
Western Washington University


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