Theory of justification is a part of epistemology that attempts to understand the justification of propositions and beliefs. Epistemologists are concerned with various epistemic features of belief, which include the ideas of justification, warrant, rationality, and probability. Of these four terms, the term that has been most widely used and discussed by the early 21st century is "warrant". Loosely speaking, justification is the reason why someone (properly) holds the belief, the explanation as to why the belief is a true one, or an account of how one knows what one knows.
If A makes a claim, and B then casts doubt on it, A's next move would normally be to provide justification. Empiricism (the evidence of the senses), authoritative testimony (the appeal to criteria and authority), and logical deduction are often involved in justification.
Justification based theories of knowledge can be divided into:
- irrationalism, which appeals to irrational criteria and authorities (feelings) and
- panrationalism, which appeals to rational criteria and authorities (observation, reasoning).
Famous quotes containing the words theory of and/or theory:
“If my theory of relativity is proven correct, Germany will claim me as a German and France will declare that I am a citizen of the world. Should my theory prove untrue, France will say that I am a German and Germany will declare that I am a Jew.”
—Albert Einstein (18791955)
“In the theory of gender I began from zero. There is no masculine power or privilege I did not covet. But slowly, step by step, decade by decade, I was forced to acknowledge that even a woman of abnormal will cannot escape her hormonal identity.”
—Camille Paglia (b. 1947)