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Care needs to be taken in using the word "model" in this article. The word implies that there is a something being modelled, and hence implicitly accepts a correspondence theory rather than a coherence theory of knowledge. That is, some Coherentists might not accept that there is an external reality that can be “modelled” and so it is improper to use the term in describing Coherentist accounts. Banno 23:59, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Actually, I don't necessarily agree that a model needs to model anything. To be more precise, let me use an analogy to hobby models of Star Wars spaceships - a model does, indeed, always model something, but in doing so there is no necessary implication or even inference that that something has any other existence except as that which is modelled. Take scientific models for example. I think (I certainly hope!) one would find that only the very naive would assert that scientific models model "reality" or some "external world". I suspect one would find plenty of people who would refer to scientific theories as models without asserting or even believing that these models represent anything at all (except "that which is modelled" - the value of the model comes from what might be called an empirical reward mechanism - the "truth" of the model is very much contextualist in this instance - the scientific community "agrees" on the model). This, I think, is the great strength of Coherentism, and I simply wanted to say that, for one, I think the word "model" is, though perhaps not ideal, certainly justified. (talk) 04:16, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Truth vs. justification[edit]

This article could be clarified by treating the coherence theory of truth and the coherence theory of justification separately. Arguments should then be presented in an ordered fashion, each as its own subtopic, relative to the according theory. Any opinions? --Adler F 00:20, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Oppose proposed merge. This article has the capability of holding the topics of truth and justification together and handing off to either link (coherence theory of truth or theory of justification) as necessary in the future, according to how the content develops. .....Kenosis 15:45, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Merge from Coherence theory of truth[edit]

My apologies for not giving my reasons sooner.

The distinction between the coherence theory of truth and the coherence theory of knowledge seems to be at the heart of this issue. I don't see sufficient merit in the distinction to justify having two separate articles - which is what has occurred. Put simply, what is the distinction in the content that justifies having two articles? Banno 16:16, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Indeed Banno. For similar reasons the wider study of Truth and Epistemology have become conflated as well. I think it's safest to keep them in separate articles for the forseeable future, then see what the future brings...Kenosis 16:47, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

But I repeat: what is the distinction in the content that justifies having two articles? Banno 23:01, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Good question Banno. I vote 'keep 'em separate' at least for now. My trusty Macmillan Encyclopedia of Philosophy (which until the Routledge came along was the Encyclopedia and has seldom failed to hit the nail on the head, so to speak) has it as Coherence Theory of Truth and not coherentism. The theory of justification is significantly enough different than Coherence theory of truth to justify the current approach of three separate articles. Perhaps a better question is: what editor(s) decided to put Theory of justification as one of two forms of coherentism?-- haven't had time to research that further as yet. This much I do know: a coherent system requires justification in order to legitimize application to anything outside itself. Therefore the topics are interlinked but cover different threads. I feel fairly secure in asserting that the current approach is the most prudent course here. I think the readers are better off with a pivot article summarizing Coherentism and directing the reader to both Coherence theory of truth and Theory of justification, That's where the preliminarily informed will tend to look (for one of those three topics in general) and I think we should accomodate that accordingly..
It is also plain to me that the Coherentism artcile requires significant cleanup and fact checking. So I'm going to tag it and see if I can assist in cleaning it up when I can get to it...Kenosis 01:37, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
Quick follow-up: Some fast preliminary research indicates that the Coherence theory of justification is a method of validating a belief by its coherence with an established coherent system. A coherent system, in turn, requires justification to things outside itself to avoid what may be called the "paranoid schizophrenic" problem, or alternately a solipsist problem. So the crux of the issue involving Coherentism, Coherence theory of truth, and Coherence theory of justification, revolves around issues similar to the debate we're already familiar with regarding the interdependence of deductive and inductive reasoning that has been central to the topic of scientific method, except that it is framed in much broader terms. It is also somewhat analogous to the centuries-old debate between continental rationalism and empiricism. In simplest terms, how far can one lean on coherence before insisting on an emprically based fact check.
Experience tells us that now and again we may be able to successfully get away with leaning on a justification by coherence with some already coherent system of dependable qualities, quantities and interrelationships, and after further investigation turn out to be judged to have been "correct" about the added element(s) or speculation(s). In other cases, the opposite turns out to be the case after the facts come in and are more effectively sorted out. The coherence theory of justification attempts to say, in essence, that you can link new assumptions to an already existent coherent system by showing the new assumptions to be coherent with that system. What it neglects is that you must at some point in adding new assumptions be prepared to do the long hard work advocated by, e.g., Karl Popper, C.S. Peirce, William James, John Dewey and many others, and go about doing your falisifiable reality checks. So, among these intertwined positions, Coherentism in general is one thread; Coherence theory of truth is another, and Coherence theory of justification is yet another. I should add that there is also a "Coherence theory of concepts" that is said to be logically independent of the Coherence theory of truth and Coherence theory of justification. (see, e.g. [1]) All three appear to fall under Coherentism. For now, I still recommend these three articles under discussion remain separate articles, at least until we can get a better handle on the issues in the relevant debate(s) and frame them accordingly for future readers...Kenosis 18:43, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Removed material[edit]

Placing removed material here for easy reference. ... Kenosis 00:22, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

  • To coherentism, the question is not whether or not there are really trees, birds, or spoons. The question is whether, assuming that the environment coheres, we can say that the people in the environment "know" anything or not. That is, the coherentist is talking about a different concept of "knows" ("Can the knower use the knowledge to functionally operate in the coherent environment,") than the non-coherentist ("Can the knower justify their knowledge matches reality?") The problem is collision and claim to the word "knows." 00:22, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Holism and Coherentism[edit]

The Confirmation Holism article links to this Coherentism page.

I think there ought to be a section distinguishing Coherentism from Holism, not a lot of the current literature on either topic really addresses the common mistake of treating the two theories as being more or less the same thing.

PS I am strongly against merging the Coherentism article with the Coherence Theory of Truth article. For this reason, I am also against (a) the discussion of the Coherence Theory of Truth that currently appears on this Coherentism page, and (b) the links from this Coherentism page to theories of truth, including the Coherence Theory of Truth (it suggests Coherentism - a theory of justification - is on the same continuum as a theory of truth, which is not the case. (Note that I wouldn't be against a 'warning' on the Coherentism page, similar to a disambiguation warning, to alert readers that they may have arrived at Coherentism when they were looking for the Coherence Theory of Truth.)

Paucolpitts2 16:05, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

I've tried to add a very basic introduction for anyone who's just surfing around, together with some examples of the sorts of questions that arise in everyday life. I don't think any of it conflicts with the academic explanation and discussion that follow. Bonniedougall (talk) 18:34, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Inventing Temperature[edit]

Inventing Temperature by Hasok Chang has a nice introductory description of coherentism; someone may find it worth chasing this reference up. — Edward Z. Yang(Talk) 20:13, 7 March 2011 (UTC)