Theory of Justification - Justification Is A Normative Activity

Justification Is A Normative Activity

One way of explaining the theory of justification is to say that a justified belief is one that we are "within our rights" in holding. The rights in question are neither political nor moral, however, but intellectual.

In some way, each of us is responsible for what we believe. Beliefs are not typically formed completely at random, and thus we have an intellectual responsibility, or obligation, to try to believe what is true and to avoid believing what is false. An intellectually responsible act is within one's intellectual rights in believing something; performing it, one is justified in one's belief.

Thus, justification is a normative notion. The standard definition is that a concept is normative if it is a concept regarding or depending on the norms, or obligations and permissions (very broadly construed), involved in human conduct. It is generally accepted that the concept of justification is normative, because it is defined as a concept regarding the norms of belief.

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