William Alston

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William P. Alston (1921 – 2009) was an influential American philosopher and professor emeritus at Syracuse University.

Alston was one of the leading lights in Christian philosophy, working on the reformed epistemology project along with Alvin Plantinga and Nicholas Wolterstorff, and helped to found the Society of Christian Philosophers and their journal Faith and Philosophy.

In A Realist Conception of Truth, Alston defended altheic realism - roughly the idea that a sentence is true if what it says is true actually is true. To non-philosophers, this may sound a trivial observation, but it is to be compared with antirealism, and other attempts to provide a deflationary account of truth with fewer metaphysical commitments - for instance, Paul Horwich's minimalist account, performative accounts such as those by Strawson and Ayer, and disquotational theories of the sort presented by Willard van Orman Quine and Wilfrid Sellars.