Philosophical Studies

, Volume 161, Issue 1, pp 27-36

First online:

Keith Lehrer on the basing relation

  • Hannah TierneyAffiliated withUniversity of Arizona Email author 
  • , Nicholas D. SmithAffiliated withLewis & Clark College

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In this paper, we review Keith Lehrer’s account of the basing relation, with particular attention to the two cases he offered in support of his theory, Raco (Lehrer, Theory of knowledge, 1990; Theory of knowledge, (2nd ed.), 2000) and the earlier case of the superstitious lawyer (Lehrer, The Journal of Philosophy, 68, 311–313, 1971). We show that Lehrer’s examples succeed in making his case that beliefs need not be based on the evidence, in order to be justified. These cases show that it is the justification (rather than the belief) that must be based in the evidence. We compare Lehrer’s account of basing with some alternative accounts that have been offered, and show why Lehrer’s own account is more plausible.


Basing Justification Knowledge Belief