An epistemological theory attempting to resolve an infinite regressive chain of justification.

Whereas foundationalism solves this problem by implementing a self-justifying base for belief, coherentism asserts that beliefs are justified provided they all cohere. In this way, a foundation of infallible and indubitable beliefs is unnecessary because essentially all beliefs can ultimately justify all other beliefs. Coherentism looks at knowledge holistically whereas foundationalism views it linearly.

For example: As I look at the desk in front of me, I observe a small black animal climbing up its side. I can believe that it is an ant because a series of my beliefs cohere: (i) ants are small black animals and (ii) ants are capable of climbing up surfaces.

Clearly, coherentism has its flaws. Despite its holistic view, coherentism lends itself to fragmentation. In the above example, I would be able to believe that the small creature is a young alien so long as my beliefs remained coherent: (i) The aliens in Alien were black. (ii) Offspring are invariably smaller than their parents and (iii) aliens can climb up walls.

Evidently, coherence of beliefs is not sufficient for the justification of beliefs. A delusional person's beliefs may be coherent, but they are unjustified because they do not accurately reflect reality.

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