Belief Justifier

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A Belief Justifier is an accepted evidence that is used to support a Justified Belief.



    • If a belief is justified, there is something which justifies it. The thing which justifies a belief can be called its justifier. If a belief is justified, then it has at least one justifier. An example of a justifier would be some evidence that I accept. For example, if a woman is aware of the fact that her husband returned from a business trip smelling like perfume, and that his shirt has smudged lipstick on its collar, the perfume and the lipstick, can be evidence for her belief that her husband is having an affair. In that case, the justifiers are all the perfume and the lipstick, or more specifically her acceptance of that evidence; the belief that is justified is her belief that her husband is having an affair.

      Not all justifiers would have to be what can properly be called "evidence"; there might be some totally different kind of justifiers out there. But to be justified, a belief has to have a justifier.

      But this raises an important question: What sort of thing can be a justifier?

      1. Beliefs only.
      2. Beliefs together with other conscious mental states.
      3. Beliefs, conscious mental states, and other facts about us and our environment (which we may not have access to).
    • At least sometimes, the justifier of a belief is another belief. When, to return to the earlier example, the woman believes that her husband is having an affair she bases that belief on other beliefs -- namely, the lipstick and perfume. Strictly speaking, her belief isn't based on the evidence itself -- after all, what if she did not believe it? What if she thought that all of that evidence were just a hoax? For that matter, what if the evidence existed, but she did not know about it? Then of course, her belief that her husband is having an affair wouldn't be based on that evidence, because she did not know it was there at all; or, if she thought the evidence were a hoax, then surely her belief couldn't be based on that evidence. When a belief is based on evidence, actually what my belief is based on is another belief, namely, a belief or beliefs about the evidence.