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Structure of Empirical Knowledge

BonJour, Laurence

15 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0674843800 / ISBN 13: 9780674843806
Published by Harvard University Press
Used Condition: Very Good Hardcover
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0674843800 G+ Contents are tight; ink; dust jacket is very good. Bookseller Inventory # 017770

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Structure of Empirical Knowledge

Publisher: Harvard University Press

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

About this title

Synopsis:

How must our knowledge be systematically organized in order to justify our beliefs? There are two options―the solid securing of the ancient foundationalist pyramid or the risky adventure of the new coherentist raft. For the foundationalist like Descartes each piece of knowledge can be stacked to build a pyramid. Not so, argues BonJour. What looks like a pyramid is in fact a dead end, a blind alley. Better by far to choose the raft.

Here BonJour sets out the most extensive antifoundationalist argument yet developed. The first part of the book offers a systematic exposition of foundationalist views and formulates a general argument to show that no variety of foundationalism provides an acceptable account of empirical justification. In the second part he explores a coherence theory of empirical knowledge and argues that a defensible theory must incorporate an adequate conception of observation. The book concludes with an account of the correspondence theory of empirical truth and an argument that systems of empirical belief which satisfy the coherentist standard of justification are also likely to be true.

Review:

BonJour develops what is undoubtedly the strongest version of a coherence theory of epistemic justification that has been produced. The entire work is outstanding for the way BonJour bends over backward to formulate and answer objections to his positions. This is a very fine work, something people will be reading and reacting to for some time to come. (William P. Alston, Syracuse University)

This book is a significant contribution. The overall structure of the book is well conceived. Each step in the argument is clearly motivated and many of the steps are original... The writing style is straightforward, clear, and polished. (Peter Klein, Rutgers University)

The Structure of Empirical Knowledge is important as a very lucid and perceptive treatment of the coherence/foundations controversy. Thorough and careful, it is also well conceived and well written and does not get lost in details. It should be of interest to philosophers of every persuasion. (Ernest Sosa, Brown University)

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