BonJour’s Internalist Foundationalism and Epistemic Virtues

Koray Karaca*

*Corresponding author for this work

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BonJour’s argumentative strategy underlying his account of internalist empirical foundationalism posits a descriptive relation between an empirical belief and the corresponding sensory experience. I argue that his argumentative strategy makes it necessary to appeal to epistemic virtues, such as accuracy, simplicity and coherency, for the epistemic assessment of the foregoing relation. I also argue that the relevance of epistemic virtues to this assessment is due to what I call background beliefs in one’s belief-system. I thus conclude that BonJour’s argumentative strategy is misguided in the sense that it overlooks the role of background beliefs in the assessment of empirical beliefs in terms of epistemic virtues, meaning that there can be no basic empirical beliefs in the way suggested by BonJour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-85
Number of pages9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Background beliefs
  • BonJour
  • Epistemic virtues
  • Internalist foundationalism
  • Sellarsian dilemma


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