Clayton Littlejohn

Justification and the Truth-Connection

Cambridge University Press 2012

New Books in PhilosophyNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network February 1, 2013 Robert Talisse

There is a long-standing debate in epistemology between internalists and externalists about justification. Internalists think that a belief is justified in virtue of certain...

There is a long-standing debate in epistemology between internalists and externalists about justification. Internalists think that a belief is justified in virtue of certain facts internal to the believer. Externalists deny this; they hold that facts of some other kind must obtain in order for a belief to be justified. In his new book, Justification and the Truth-Connection (Cambridge 2012), Clayton Littlejohn defends a novel version of externalism, one which holds that a belief must be true in order to be justified. The cover of the book features an intriguing photograph by Sigurdur Gudmundsson that nicely captures Littlejohn’s view: In order to meet our epistemic obligations, we must fit ourselves, including our internal belief-forming and deliberative processes as well as our actions, to the world around us. This view, Littlejohn contends, retains the virtues of justificatory externalism while also providing a compelling account of the concerns regarding epistemic normativity and responsibility that often lie at the core of internalist views of justification. Littlejohn’s book hence is a work of contemporary epistemology that engages deeply with a range of concerns in value theory.

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