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It could be said that to believe that X is true is simply to hold that X is the case. Truth is a characteristic of statements, not the world. So justification for X being true is exactly the same thing as justification for believing that X is true. It's just two slightly different ways of saying the same thing.

However, if someone asks "Why do you believe X?", what if part of the justification is based on information not accessible to the questioner? Say experience for example. In that case, I would say that the belief holder's belief may be justified to himself but they may be unable to justify it to outsiders. The question seems to be centered on the person being asked the question...why they believe.

However, if asked "What justification can you provide that X is true?" The question is implicitly asking "Why should I (or anyone) believe X is true?"

Is justification for X being true different to justification for believing that X is true?

  • I'd say "yes", but at first glance, this seems to be inviting opinion-based answers, is there some way to can edit to be a more SE-answerable question? – virmaior Jul 4 '16 at 6:37
  • @virmaior do you have any recommendations? Is there a specific subset of Philosophy that deals with these sorts of questions? – ptutt Jul 4 '16 at 6:40
  • This is a question in epistemology but with some overlap in metaphysics, specifically the question of how we believe things is squarely in epistemology, but the question of whether something is the case can be in either depending on precisely what is meant by "X being true" and by "justification". A key question in the larger vicinity is about the nature of knowledge and how it relates to belief (see plato.stanford.edu/entries/knowledge-analysis for a thorough consideration of knowledge ). – virmaior Jul 4 '16 at 7:13
  • @virmaior "X being true" would mean that X is a fact. I would have thought "justification" would be the measure of whether the response to the "why do you believe X" question is valid which I guess would be dependent on the theory(s) of epistemology applied. – ptutt Jul 4 '16 at 7:31
  • fact is a pretty loaded word in philosophy. Do you mean that X (some thing, idea, etc) exists or do you mean that X (some state of affairs) evaluates to true vis-a-vis the world? – virmaior Jul 4 '16 at 7:40

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