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Riggs on strong justification

By J. Katzav


In 'The Weakness of Strong Justification' Wayne Riggs claims that the requirement that justified beliefs be truth conducive (likely to be true) is not always compatible with the requirement that they be epistemically responsible (arrived at in an epistemically responsible manner)1. He supports this claim by criticising Alvin Goldman's view that if a belief is strongly justified, it is also epistemically responsible. In light of this, Riggs recommends that we develop two independent conceptions of justification, one that insists upon the requirement that beliefs be truth conducive and another that insists that they be epistemically responsible. It will then, on his view, be possible to properly evaluate beliefs with regard to each conception of justification. Riggs, however, is mistaken in supposing that the two epistemic requirements are independent. If a belief is responsibly arrived at, it is therefore likely to be true. He is thus also mistaken in supposing that the two epistemic requirements are incompatible. This mistake arises because Riggs assumes that justification is possible or, at least, that it involves standards that are akin to our own. Moreover, once this assumption is made explicit, we can see why a notion of justification that connects epistemic practice with likely truth is significant

Publisher: Routledge
Year: 1998
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