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Journal of Philosophical Research

Volume 41, Issue Supplement, 2016

Selected Papers in Honor of William P. Alston

Sanford C. Goldberg
Pages 1-16

Epistemic Justification Revisited

In his Beyond Justification, Bill Alston argued that there is no single property picked out by ‘epistemic justification,’ and that instead epistemological theory should investigate the range of epistemic desiderata that beliefs may enjoy (as well as the nature of and interconnections among the various epistemic good-making properties). In this paper I argue that none of his arguments taken singly, nor the collection as a group, gives us a reason to abandon the traditional idea that there is a property of epistemic justification. I conclude by suggesting how Alston’s proposal to investigate the variety of epistemic desiderata bears on the questions at the heart of the theory of epistemic justification. Here I suggest that, despite his attempts at neutrality with respect to debates about epistemic justification, Alston might well have taken sides on one of the main issues of substance.

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