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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe project consists of a defense of the reductivist program generally and an application of the program to the theory of epistemic justification. Chapter One sets out the problem of reducing justification to other terms and defends the legitimacy of this problem against attacks by Quine in particular and supervenience theorists generally. Chapter Two is an explication and refutation of all possible theories which reduce justification-facts to facts about the reliability of cognitive processes. All such theories founder due to their insensitivity to the perspectival component of thought. Chapter Three argues that this perspectival component is non-truth-theoretic and hence that the connection between justification and truth is much less important than has been generally supposed. Chapter Four lays out the structure of epistemic justification and proposes a reductive thesis entailing this structure. It is argued that essential elements of both coherence theories of justification and foundations theories of justification are present in rational thought and that this is explicable in terms of the teleology of human cognition. Chapter Five explicates and defends the theory constructed in Chapter Four.