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DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-P021-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved June 24, 2024, from

Article Summary

Some foundationalists are rationalists who rely on intuition and deduction. Others are empiricists, in a broad sense, and accept observation and induction or abduction or yet other ways to support beliefs by means of other beliefs. What they have in common is that they are all willing to hazard a positive view about what in general makes a belief epistemically justified in the way required for it to be a case of knowledge; and they all propose something of the following general form: belief b is justified if and only if either b is foundationally justified through a psychological process of direct apprehension p (such as rational intuition, observation, introspection, and so on) or else b is inferentially justified through a psychological process of reasoning r (such as deduction, induction, abduction, and so on) ultimately from beliefs all of which are acquired or sustained through p. If one rejects all forms of such foundationalism, then a question remains as to what distinguishes in general the cases where a belief is epistemically justified from the cases in which it is not. Can anything general and illuminating be said about what confers epistemic justification on a belief, and what gives a belief the epistemic status required for it to constitute knowledge (provided it is true)?

Citing this article:
Sosa, Ernest. Foundationalism, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-P021-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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