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William P. Alston (1921 – 13 September, 2009) was professor emeritus at Syracuse University, and has made influential contributions to the philosophy of language, epistemology and Christian philosophy. He earned his PhD from the University of Chicago and has taught at Rutgers University and the University of Michigan. His views on foundationalism, internalism versus externalism and speech acts, among many other topics, have been very influential. Alston has also done important work in metaphysics and other fields. Alston is counted among the analytic philosophers.

Together with other philosophers (Alvin Plantinga, Nicholas Wolterstorff, Robert Adams) Alston was involved in setting up the philosophy journal Faith and philosophy and the Society of Christian Philosophers. Alston is a past president of the American Philosophical Association and was one of the core figures in the late 20th century revival of the philosophy of religion.

Professor Alston died at his home Sunday 13 September 2009.


  • Alston, William P., Beyond "Justification": Dimensions Of Epistemic Evaluation,Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2005
  • Alston, William P., Illocutionary Acts and Sentence Meaning, Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2000
  • Alston, William P., A Realist Conception of Truth, Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1996
  • Alston, William P., Epistemic Justification: Essays in the Theory of Knowledge, Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1996
  • Alston, William P., The Reliability of Sense Perception, Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1993
  • Alston, William P., Perceiving God: The Epistemology of Religious Experience, Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1991
  • Alston, William P., Divine Nature and Human Language: Essays in Philosophical Theology. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1989.
  • Alston, William P., Philosophy of Language, Englewood Cliffs, Prentice Hall, 1964

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