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Justification, philosophy: justification is a condition for knowledge which a) is fulfilled or not fulfilled by the explanation of the origin of the information or b) by a logical examination of the argument. For a), theories such as the causal theory of knowledge or reliability theories have been developed. See also verification, examination, verification, proofs, externalism.
Justification in a broader sense is a statement about the occurrence of an action or a choice. See also explanations, ultimate justification, reasons.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Christopher W. Morris on Justification - Dictionary of Arguments

Gaus I 203
Justification/state/legitimacy/Morris: A rational justification of a state, we may say, is provided when the relevant people have reasons to respect its laws and to support it in various ways. More broadly, they may have reasons to do their part in supporting and maintaining the state.(1) >Justice/Morris, >State/Morris, >Legitimacy/Morris.
Such a state might be thought to be minimally legitimate. Now it is very unlikely that many states are such as to provide (virtually) all subjects with reasons to obey (virtually) all laws, even if we take sanctions to provide reasons of the relevant sort. It may also be that many states that do
offer most subjects reasons are tyrannical or capable of committing various evils. It is doubtful, therefore, that rational justification is the sort we should seek. It would seem that some species of moral justification is what is needed.*
Gaus I 204
Consent: Consent can be a necessary condition for legitimacy or merely a sufficient one (or both). Assuming that consent could suffice to legitimate only (reasonably) just governments or states, we should think of consent theory as affirming both the necessity and the sufficiency of consent to legitimacy. The claim that consent is sufficient is the less controversial of the two (see Simmons, 1979(2): 57; 1993(3): 197—8; Green, 1988(4): 161—2; Beran, 1987(5)).

* A number of contemporary theorists have defended democracy as a procedurally fair way to make decisions in the face of serious disagreement about justice. These thinkers argue that democratic institutions are essential to the legitimation of states (see Christiano, 1996(6)). See also A. Buchanan (2002)(7) for a similar claim about democratic legitimacy and for a conception of legitimacy similar to Morris (1998)(1).

1. Morris, Christopher W. (1998) An Essay on the Modern State. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (2): 114—15, 122—7, 134—6, 160—1)
2. Simmons, A. John (1979) Moral Principles and Political Obligations. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Umversity Press.
3. Simmons, A. John (1993) On the Edge of Anarchy: Locke, Consent, and the Limits of Society. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Umversity Press. 4. Green 1988
5. Beran, Harry (1987) The Consent Theory of Political Obligation. Beckenham: Croom Helm.
6. Christiano, Thomas (1996) The Rule of Many: Fundamental Issues in Democratic Theory. Boulder, CO: Westview.
7. Buchanan, Allen (2002) 'Political legitimacy and democracy'. Ethics, 112 (July): 689-719.

Morris, Christopher W. 2004. „The Modern State“. In: Gaus, Gerald F. & Kukathas, Chandran 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Morris, Christopher W.
Gaus I
Gerald F. Gaus
Chandran Kukathas
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004

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