There seems to be some confusion in the comments about justification.

Whether a thing is justifiable, and whether it has been justified, are distinct concepts that it is very important to distinguish between.

The argument that cannot be justified isn’t worth making. But “be justified” doesn’t mean that the justification can exist without our knowing it. The justification must be presented or referenced directly by the arguments being made.


4 Responses to “Confusion”

  1. Isn’t a justification usually an argument? If so, then doesn’t this suffer from an infinite regress? I wouldn’t normally be troubled by infinite regress, except that in this case it seems like you’re asking for it to be made explicit.

  2. “Isn’t a justification usually an argument?”

    Emphasis added by me.

    All squares are rectangles.

    “X is true” is an argument, but isn’t a justification.

  3. Is that supposed to be a counterexample? If so, then try something that’s a justification but not an argument.

  4. You’ve missed the point.

    Not all argumentative statements are justifications. An argument (as a whole) must be founded on justifications.

    Certain kinds of observations serve as the foundation for justifications.

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