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Basic Beliefs Must Exist

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Basic Beliefs Must Exist

The root of knowledge has always been a great question of philosophy. What do we know? Or do we really know what we think we know? What justifies our beliefs as knowledge? It all comes down to the same question, same question asked in cosmology, biology and many others: How did it all begin? Where scientific data is inadequate, epistemology tried to find answers and possibilities and asked their version of the question: Are there any epistemically basic beliefs? In other words, how does knowing begin? Or to some, does knowledge exist at all? Foundationalism suggested that after all there must be an epistemically basic belief at the root of the rest of them, a starting point that doesn’t need justification because it justifies itself. In this essay I will explain that there are epistemically basic beliefs, which has been proven and exemplified by various philosophers of Foundationalism. First I will explain Foundationalism and give examples to epistemically basic beliefs, then I will explain how coherentism refutes the idea of a basic belief and lastly I will examine how both stand in front of the regress argument, proving the existence of basic belief for the existence of knowledge.

If there is knowledge it must have a starting point. Foundationalism is an epistemological view that suggests that the chain of justification of beliefs has a starting point, which is called basic belief. All our beliefs are justified by these basic or foundational beliefs and these foundational beliefs are self-justifying, meaning that it opposes the suggestion that the justification chain goes to infinity. It’s important here to distinguish between knowledge and belief. To Plato, knowledge is a well-justified true belief. In it’s various forms, these basic beliefs are self-justified which is exactly why it becomes solid enough to be assumed as an axiom…...

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