Do Your Homework! A Rights-Based Zetetic Account of Alleged Cases of Doxastic Wronging

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-28 (forthcoming)
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This paper offers an alternate explanation of cases from the doxastic wronging literature. These cases violate what I call the degree of inquiry right—a novel account of zetetic obligations to inquire when interests are at stake. The degree of inquiry right is a moral right against other epistemic agents to inquire to a certain threshold when a belief undermines one’s interests. Thus, the agents are sometimes obligated to leave inquiry open. I argue that we have relevant interests in reputation, relationships, and the well-being of our social groups. These interests generate obligations against others to “do their homework” before closing inquiry. This alternate account makes better sense of puzzles that accounts of doxastic wronging fall prey to.

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J. Spencer Atkins
State University of New York at Binghamton


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