I’m reading Susan Haack’s Evidence and Inquiry, and she proposes a moderate evidentialist position that she believes shoots between the difficulties of foundationalism and coherentism, yet takes the best of both positions. Before I make any initial remarks on her arguments, I feel that this position may go overlooked simply because of the unfortunate word “foundherentism”. I think it’s a rule for analytic philosophers to come up with the most unwieldy names. Blech. Moving on….

FH1: A subject’s experience is relevant to the justification of his empirical beliefs, but there need be no privileged class of empirical beliefs beliefs justified exclusively by the support of experience, independently of the support of other beliefs.

FH2: Justification is not exclusively one-directional, but involves pervasive relations of mutual support.

Haack thinks experience is a necessary portion of justification which serves somewhere in the basic region of the foundations, but what is interesting to me is her claim that such experiences aren’t incorrigible. She uses the ophthalmologist’s fan test to show that you can, in fact, be mistaken about how something appears to you.

It seems that you can be confused about how you are experiencing a very basic sense deliverance. Are the lines the same size? Do some appear to be larger or bolder? For me personally, the answer isn’t entirely clear, which serves as a prima facie defeater of the incorrigibility of basic sense experiences.


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