AuthorTruncellito, David Allen
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractWhat do we mean when we say that a belief is justified? What justifies a belief? These are two very different questions. An answer to the first question is an attempt to offer a conceptual analysis of justification, an explication of the meaning of the term. An answer to the second question, on the other hand, is a substantive account of epistemic justification, a set of conditions under which a belief is justified. I argue that one's substantive account of a given notion should only be attempted after one has arrived at an analysis of that concept. After distinguishing between a conceptual analysis and a substantive account, I proceed to offer an analysis of the concept of epistemic justification. The analysis begins by noting three essential features of epistemic justification: truth, goal-directedness, and normativity; the correct analysis, then, must capture the relations between these components. I begin by discussing the relation between justification and truth, and argue that the two must be conceptually linked; specifically, the analysis of justification must invoke truth-directedness. I then undertake a discussion of rival theories of truth, as that debate importantly influences the project of epistemology. The analysis I ultimately offer is "Janus-faced"; it invokes normativity in two distinct ways. My hope is that this analysis will help guide us to the correct substantive account of epistemic justification; such is the goal of the larger project of which this dissertation is the first stage.
Degree ProgramGraduate College