The need for justification

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
332 Downloads (Pure)


Some series can go on indefinitely, others cannot, and epistemologists
want to know in which class to place epistemic chains. Is it sensible or nonsensical
to speak of a proposition or belief that is justified by another proposition or belief,
ad infinitum? In large part the answer depends on what we mean by “justification.”
Epistemologists have failed to find a definition on which everybody agrees, and
some have even advised us to stop looking altogether. In spite of this, the present
essay submits a few candidate definitions. It argues that, although not giving the
final word, these candidates tell us something about the possibility of infinite
epistemic chains. And it shows that they can short-circuit a debate about doxastic
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-210
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2014


  • epistemic justification
  • evidential support
  • foundationalism
  • infinitism
  • probability
  • regress

Cite this