William P. Alston received his PhD in philosophy from the University of Chicago in 1951. He has been Professor of Philosophy at Syracuse University since 1980 and Professor Emeritus since 1992. He was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 1976 to 1980 and served as chair from 1977 to 1979. He was previously Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University from 1971 to 1976, serving as acting chair from 1972 to 1973. He taught at the University of Michigan from 1949 to 1971 where he become Professor of Philosophy in 1961.
Professor Alston is a past President of the Western Division of the American Philosophical Association, of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology, and of the Society of Christian Philosophers. He was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University in 1965-66 and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Philosophy at the Center for Advanced Study in Theoretical Psychology at the University of Alberta in 1975. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and he received the Syracuse University’s Chancellor’s Citation for Exceptional Academic Achievement. He conducted NEH summer seminars in 1978 and 1979, and directed an NEH Institute on Philosophy of Religion in 1986. He is founding editor of the journal, Faith and Philosophy. In October, 1987 he led a delegation of eight American philosophers in epistemology and philosophy of mind for a week of discussions with Soviet philosophers in Moscow and Leningrad. In September, 1991 he participated in a conference at Castel Gandolfo, Italy on theology and physical cosmology sponsored by the Vatican Observatory.
His publications include several anthologies, Philosophy of Language (Prentice-Hall, 1964), more than one hundred journal articles, many of which have been reprinted in anthologies, eighteen articles in the Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Paul Edwards (Macmillan, 1967), and numerous reviews. Two collections of his essays have been published by Cornell University Press (1989): Epistemic Justification: Essays in Epistemology and Divine Nature and Human Language: Essays in Philosophical Theology. His most recent books are Perceiving God: A Study in the Epistemology of Religious Experience (Cornell, 1991), The Reliability of Sense Perception (Cornell, 1993), A Realist Conception of Truth (Cornell, 1995), and Illocutionary Acts and Sentence Meaning (Cornell, 2000).