Coherentist Theories of Knowledge Don’t Apply to Enough Outside of Science and Don’t Give the Right Results When Applied to Science

  • James Bogen
  • Pitzer College
Part of the Philosophical Studies Series book series (PSSP, volume 44)


This paper argues for its title by considering and generalizing from difficulties in BonJour’s program for a coherentist account of what it is to have good reason to think one’s beliefs are true.2 I chose Bon Jour as a representative of coherentism because his is by far the most candid, well worked out, and fruitful advocacy of the coherentist position of which I am aware. As he would be the first to admit, what BonJour offers is a program and an apology for coherentism rather than a detailed theory; to expect more at this point would be quite unreasonable. I can’t rule out the possibility that if there were a fully worked out coherentist theory of justification, its details would answer the complaints this paper develops. But I will argue that my objections should apply not only to theories which fit specifications peculiar to BonJour’s program, but also to coherentist theories which depart from it in some respects.


Belief System Justify Belief Epistemic Standard Coherentist Theory Universal Gravitation 
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Bogen
  • Pitzer College

There are no affiliations available

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