The Review of Symbolic Logic

Research Article



a1 Programs in Computer Science, Mathematics, and Philosophy, Graduate Center CUNY


We describe a general logical framework, Justification Logic, for reasoning about epistemic justification. Justification Logic is based on classical propositional logic augmented by justification assertions t: F that read t is a justification for F. Justification Logic absorbs basic principles originating from both mainstream epistemology and the mathematical theory of proofs. It contributes to the studies of the well-known Justified True Belief vs. Knowledge problem. We state a general Correspondence Theorem showing that behind each epistemic modal logic, there is a robust system of justifications. This renders a new, evidence-based foundation for epistemic logic. As a case study, we offer a resolution of the Goldman–Kripke ‘Red Barn’ paradox and analyze Russell’s ‘prime minister example’ in Justification Logic. Furthermore, we formalize the well-known Gettier example and reveal hidden assumptions and redundancies in Gettier’s reasoning.

(Received August 23 2008)