Foundations of Science

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 325–336 | Cite as

The Foundationalism–Coherentism Opposition Revisited: The Case for Complementarism

  • Yves BouchardEmail author


In this paper, I show the complementarity of foundationalism and coherentism with respect to any efficient system of beliefs by means of a distinction between two types of proposition drawn from an analogy with an axiomatic system. This distinction is based on the way a given proposition is acknowledged as true, either by declaration (F-proposition) or by preservation (C-proposition). Within such a perspective, i.e., epistemological complementarism, not only can one see how the usual opposition between foundationalism and coherentism is irrelevant, but furthermore one can appreciate the reciprocal relation between these two theories as they refer to two separate epistemological functions involved in the dynamics of constituting and expanding an epistemic system.


Epistemology Coherentism Foundationalism Complementarism Contextualism Propositional system Axiomatic system 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of SherbrookeSherbrookeCanada

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