In epistemology, the view that some beliefs can justifiably be held directly (e.g., on the basis of sense perception or rational intuition) and not by inference from other justified beliefs. Other types of beliefs (e.g., beliefs about material objects or about theoretical entities of science) are not regarded as basic or foundational in this way but are held to require inferential support. Foundationalists have typically recognized self-evident truths and reports of sense-data as basic, in the sense that they do not need support from other beliefs. Such beliefs thus provide the foundations on which the edifice of knowledge can properly be built. See also coherentism.
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