|Born||31 August 1943|
|Coherentism, a priori justification|
Laurence BonJour (born August 31, 1943) is an American philosopher and Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Washington.
He received his bachelor's degrees in Philosophy and Political Science from Macalester College and his doctorate in 1969 from Princeton University with a dissertation directed by Richard Rorty. Before moving to UW he taught at the University of Texas at Austin.
BonJour specializes in epistemology, Kant, and British empiricism, but is best known for his contributions to epistemology. Initially defending coherentism in his anti-foundationalist critique The Structure of Empirical Knowledge (1985), BonJour subsequently moved to defend Cartesian foundationalism in later work such as 1998's In Defense of Pure Reason. The latter book is a sustained defense of a priori justification, strongly criticizing empiricists and pragmatists who dismiss it (such as W. V. O. Quine and Richard Rorty).
In 1980, Bonjour criticized the reliabilism of Armstrong and Goldman, proposing internalist approach to epistemic truth and knowledge justification. He formulated the examples of a clairvoyant and her reliable forecasts about the presence of the U.S. president in New York City. Some years later, in his essay Externalist theories of empirical knowledge Bonjour extended his internalist criticism against the foundationalist theory, saying it was unable to provide enough reasons for justification and to solve the regress problem.
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