Justified Judging

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (forthcoming)


Traditional approaches to epistemology have sought, unsuccessfully, to define knowledge in terms of justification. I follow Timothy Williamson in arguing that this is misconceived and that we should take knowledge as our fundamental epistemological notion. We can then characterise justification as a certain sort of approximation to knowledge. A judgment is justified if and only if the reason (if there is one) for a failure to know is to be found outside the subject's mental states; that is, justified judging is possible knowing (where one world accessible from another if and only if they are identical with regard to a subject's antecedent mental states and judgment forming processes). This view is explained and defended.