David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 146 (3):405 - 446 (2005)
I defend the view that justified belief is preferable to plain belief only because the former enhances the likelihood that the belief is true: call that sort of justification truth-linked. A collection of philosophical theories either state outright that this is not so, imply it via other doctrines, or adopt a notion of truth that renders the link innocuous. The discussion proceeds as follows. Issues and various positions are outlined, and needed qualifications are entered (parts I-III). We then note general shortcomings of all views rejecting the truth-link, and critically examine a powerful thought experiment underlying the rejection (part IV). In the final sections we explore two other challenges to the truth-link. First (part V), we consider forms of idealized justification theory that would imply the independence of justification from the relevant sort of truth conduciveness; next (part VI) we investigate a view, Pragmatism, which maintains that epistemic justification is sanctioned by ends other than a tendency towards truth.
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