Problems for Wright's entitlement theory

In Luca Moretti & Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen (eds.), Non-Evidentialist Epistemology. Leiden: Brill. pp. 121-138 (2021)
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Crispin Wright’s entitlement theory holds that we have non-evidential justification for accepting propositions of a general type––which Wright calls “cornerstones”––that enables us to acquire justification for believing other propositions––those that we take to be true on the grounds of ordinary evidence. Entitlement theory is meant by Wright to deliver a forceful response to the sceptic who argues that we cannot justify ordinary beliefs. I initially focus on strategic entitlement, which is one of the types of entitlement that Wright has described in more detail. I suggest that it is dubious that we are strategically entitled to accept cornerstones. After this, I focus on entitlement in general. I contend that, in important cases, non-evidential justification for accepting cornerstones cannot secure evidential justification for believing ordinary propositions. My argument rests on a probabilistic regimentation of the so-called “leaching problem”.

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Luca Moretti
University of Eastern Piedmont


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