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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Foundationalism, a theory about the structure of epistemic justification, is often criticized for certain excesses despite the fact that these excesses are actually not a part of foundationalism itself but are, instead, unnecessary additions that have on occasion been combined with it. But when correctly understood, its main tenets (most prominently the claim that there can be properly basic beliefs) are virtually undeniable. The best way to get at the heart of foundationalism is to focus not on Descartes but on Aristotle and his famous regress argument. The chapter’s first main section unpacks that foundationalist argument. Its second main section addresses some objections to foundationalism. The third main section considers how foundationalism bears on topics in the epistemology of theology—topics such as Reformed epistemology, natural theology, biblical criticism, and post-foundationalism.

Keywords: Aristotle, basic belief, Biblical criticism, Descartes, foundationalism, justification, natural theology, post-foundationalism, Reformed epistemology, regress argument

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