Coherentist Justification and Perceptual Beliefs
The Balkan Journal of Philosophy. Vol. 7, No 2, 2015, ISSN: 1313-888X
A common objection to coherence theories of justification comes from belief revision processes: in a system of knowledge, perceptual beliefs seem to bear more importance than other members of the coherent set do. They are more stable in the face of confronting evidence, and may be preserved despite their degrading effect on the coherence properties of the system. This appears to be inconsistent with coherentism, according to which beliefs cannot possess independent credibility. In order to abide by the coherence theory, one must explain the stability of perceptual beliefs in belief revision in a manner that does not rely on foundationalist premises. A suggestion about the personal justification of perceptual beliefs in terms of coherence is presented in the paper to explain their stability in belief revision processes. The coherence of perceptual beliefs and a network account of knowledge are advocated in order to avoid weak foundationalism and to provide a new perspective to the normative problems of epistemic justification.
justification, coherence, perceptual beliefs, belief revision