Justification as the appearance of knowledge

Steven Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Adequate epistemic justification is best conceived as the appearance, over time, of knowledge to the subject. 'Appearance' is intended literally, not as a synonym for belief. It is argued through consideration of examples that this account gets the extension of 'adequately justified belief' at least roughly correct. A more theoretical reason is then offered to regard justification as the appearance of knowledge: If we have a knowledge norm for assertion, we do our best to comply with this norm when we express as assertions only beliefs that appear to us to be knowledge. If we are doing our best, there is little point in further sanctions. So a norm of knowledge for assertion would lead to a secondary norm of justified belief as the appearance of knowledge, marking a point at which our assertions may be corrected but should not be blamed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-383
Number of pages17
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Appearance
  • Epistemic norms
  • Justification
  • Knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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