Truth as the aim of epistemic justification

In Timothy Chan (ed.), The Aim of Belief. Oxford University Press (2013)
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Abstract

A popular account of epistemic justification holds that justification, in essence, aims at truth. An influential objection against this account points out that it is committed to holding that only true beliefs could be justified, which most epistemologists regard as sufficient reason to reject the account. In this paper I defend the view that epistemic justification aims at truth, not by denying that it is committed to epistemic justification being factive, but by showing that, when we focus on the relevant sense of ‘justification’, it isn’t in fact possible for a belief to be at once justified and false. To this end, I consider and reject three popular intuitions speaking in favor of the possibility of justified false beliefs, and show that a factive account of epistemic justification is less detrimental to our normal belief forming practices than often supposed.

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Citations of this work

Between Probability and Certainty: What Justifies Belief.Martin Smith - 2016 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK.
Stop Making Sense? On a Puzzle about Rationality.Littlejohn Clayton - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research:257-272.
Epistemic Teleology and the Separateness of Propositions.Selim Berker - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (3):337-393.
An instrumentalist unification of zetetic and epistemic reasons.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.

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