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corespondance theory

Course Code
Imogen Dickie

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Knowledge and Reality Lecture
September 19, 2011
Correspondence theory
Belief is justified iff either the basic belief..
P is true iff p corresponds with the facts [Regina is flat and is in
Saskatchewan; its true because there are facts consisting that
Regina is flat and it is in Saskatchewan]
o“Winnipeg is in Alberta” is not true because there is no fact
saying so
Questions for the theory: what is a fact? What is
These questions are not the end of the theory
One answer to the questions raised by the correspondence theory
A fact is a configuration of objects and properties in the world
A proposition is a configuration of mental symbols
A symbol in the language of thought stands for an object or
property in the world
Correspondence between propositions and facts is to be
explained in terms of a structural match between configurations
of objects and properties in the world and configurations of
mental tokens in the mind
Inferential justification has to be linear
Stronger than consistency
Matter of degrees; mutual support; how much beliefs are
supporting one another
P is true iff p coheres with a specific system of beliefs
Questions for coherence theory: Which system of beliefs? What is
Problems for Coherentism about justification
There can be rival coherent systems of belief
Lack of genuine empirical content; if all it takes for a belief to be
justified is that it fits in with your other beliefs, you’re gonna end
up with a lack of genuine empirical content; brings in the notion
of luck [ex. Toronto and regina being flat] all the beliefs fit in with
one another really well, but the way they are justified isn’t
Leads to coherentism about truth
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