Laurence BonJour
Born31 August 1943
EraContemporary philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
Epistemic coherentism[1]
Main interests
Notable ideas
Coherentism, a priori justification

Laurence BonJour (born August 31, 1943) is an American philosopher and Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Washington.[2]

Education and career

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.[3]

Philosophical work

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.[4] He formulated the examples of a clairvoyant and her reliable forecasts about the presence of the U.S. president in New York City.[4] 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.[citation needed]




Encyclopedia and dictionary articles


See also


  1. ^ Coherentist Theories of Epistemic Justification (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
  2. ^ Bernecker, Sven (2006). Reading Epistemology: Selected Texts with Interactive Commentary. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 139. ISBN 1-4051-2763-5. Retrieved January 28, 2011.
  3. ^ "Laurence BonJour | Department of Philosophy | University of Washington".
  4. ^ a b Fred Adams (2005). "Tracking theory of knowledge" (pdf). Veritas – Revista de Filosofia da Pucrs. 50 (4): 27. doi:10.15448/1984-6746.2005.4.1813. Archived from the original on June 1, 2020 – via ((cite journal)): External link in |via= (help)