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date: 23 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

For most contemporary philosophers, the concept of the given is intimately connected with two philosophical positions: empiricism and epistemological foundationalism. Those who reject the given identify C. I. Lewis as a paradigm empiricist foundationalist. Such a reading of Lewis's work is almost certainly mistaken, but we should begin by identifying what this ‘standard reading’ of the given involves. Foundationalism is an account of the structure of justification. Many of our justified beliefs obtain their justification from the fact that they are inferred from, or dependent upon, other justified beliefs. Concerned to avoid a regression of justification, foundationalists hold that this is not the case for all of our beliefs.

Keywords: C. I. Lewis, pragmatism, contemporary philosophy, empiricism, epistemological foundationalism, justified beliefs

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