, Volume 80, Issue 5, pp 945–955 | Cite as

On Doxastic Justification and Properly Basing One’s Beliefs

  • Paul SilvaJr.
Original Article


According to an orthodox account of the relationship between propositional and doxastic justification, basing one’s belief in P on one’s source of propositional justification to believe P suffices for having a doxastically justified belief. But in an increasingly recognized work Turri (Philos Phenomenol Res 80:312–326, 2010a) argues that this thesis fails and proposes a new view according to which having propositional justification depends on having the ability to acquire doxastic justification. Turri’s novel position has surprisingly far-reaching epistemological consequences, ruling out some common epistemological positions that afford one propositional justification in the absence of an ability to acquire doxastic justification (e.g., common forms of evidentialism, conservatism, and closure principles). In what follows I show Turri’s novel position to be problematic and go on to suggest a more modest revision to orthodoxy. The first section presents the orthodox view of the relationship between propositional and doxastic justification and Turri’s counterexample to it. The second section introduces Turri’s novel view of that relationship and draws out some of its epistemological implications. The third section gives counterexamples to Turri’s proposal. The fourth section defends a modest revision to orthodoxy.


Intellectual Handicap Justify Belief Perceptual Justification Closure Principle Skeptical Hypothesis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Special thanks to the AAP (Auckland, 2013) audience, John Williams, Greg Dawes, and Tim Oakley for their helpful comments.


  1. Alston, W. (1989). Epistemic justification. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Christensen, D. (2004). Putting logic in its place. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cohen, S. (2010). Bootstrapping. Defeasible reasoning, and a priori justification. Philosophical Perspectives, 24, 141–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dougherty, T. (2011). Evidentialism and it’s discontents. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Feldman, R. (2002). Epistemology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  6. Feldman, R., & Conee, E. (1985). Evidentialism. Philosophical Studies, 48, 15–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Goldman, A. (2009). Internalism, externalism, and the architecture of justification. Journal of Philosophy, 106, 309–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Korcz, K. (2000). The causal-doxastic theory of the basing relation. Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 30, 525–550.Google Scholar
  9. Kvanvig, J. (2003). Propositionalism and the perspectival character of justification. American Philosophical Quarterly, 40, 3–18.Google Scholar
  10. Neta, R. (2010). Liberalism and conservatism in the epistemology of perceptual belief. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 88, 685–705.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Pollock, J., & Cruz, J. (1999). Contemporary theories of knowledge (2nd ed.). New York: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
  12. Pryor, J. (2001). Highlights of recent epistemology. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 52, 95–124.Google Scholar
  13. Silins, N. (2007). Basic justification and the Moorean response to the skeptic. In T. Gendler & J. Hawthorne (Eds.), Oxford studies in epistemology (Vol. 2, pp. 108–142). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Silva, P. (2014). Does doxastic justification have a basing requirement? Australasian Journal of Philosophy. doi: 10.1080/00048402.2014.962553.
  15. Smithies, D. (2011). Moore’s paradox and the accessibility of justification. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 85, 273–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Turri, J. (2010a). On the relationship between propositional and doxastic justification. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 80, 312–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Turri, J. (2010b). Refutation by elimination. Analysis, 70, 35–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. White, R. (2006). Problems for dogmatism. Philosophical Studies, 131, 525–557.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Wright, C. (2007). The perils of dogmatism. In S. Nuccetelli & G. Seay (Eds.), Themes from G. E. Moore: New essays in epistemology and ethics (pp. 25–49). Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Monash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

Personalised recommendations