Is coherentism inconsistent?

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Can a perceptual experience justify (epistemically) a belief? More generally, can a nonbelief justify a belief? Coherentists answer in the negative: Only a belief can justify a belief. A perceptual experience can cause a belief but cannot justify a belief. Coherentists eschew all noninferential justification—justification independent of evidential support from beliefs—and, with it, the idea that justification has a foundation. Instead, justification is holistic in structure. Beliefs are justified together, not in isolation, as members of a coherent belief system. The main question of the paper is whether coherentism is consistent. I set out an apparent inconsistency in coherentism and then give a resolution to that apparent inconsistency.
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Archival date: 2017-03-02
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