Coherentism, brain science, and the meaning of life: A response to Thagard

Philosophical Psychology 26 (4):622-624 (2013)
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Abstract

In his ?Nihilism, Skepticism, and Philosophical Method,? Paul Thagard claims that my critique of his The Brain and the Meaning of Life misapprehends his argument. According to Thagard, the critique wrongly assumes that the book offers foundationalist justifications for Thagard's views whereas, in fact, the justifications his book presents are coherentist. In my response, I show that the claim that my critique depends on foundationalist assumptions is ungrounded. Moreover, the appeal to coherentist rather than foundationalist justifications does not salvage Thagard's discussion, since it is problematic under both foundationalism and coherentism. Thagard does not show that the anti-nihilist position he supports is more coherent than the nihilist position he rejects, and brain research does not justify his claims about the meaning of life under coherentism any more than under foundationalism

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Iddo Landau
University of Haifa

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