The Emergence of Justification

Jeanne Peijnenburg*, David Atkinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


A major objection to epistemic infinitism is that it seems to make justification impossible. For if there is an infinite chain of reasons, each receiving its justification from its neighbour, then there is no justification to inherit in the first place. Some have argued that the objection arises from misunderstanding the character of justification. Justification is not something that one reason inherits from another; rather it gradually emerges from the chain as a whole. Nowhere however is it made clear what exactly is meant by emergence. The aim of this paper is to fill that lacuna: we describe a detailed procedure for the emergence of justification that enables us to see exactly how justification surfaces from a chain of reasons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)546-564
Number of pages19
JournalThe Philosophical Quarterly
Issue number252
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2013

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