Full Blooded Entitlement

In Nikolaj Pedersen & Peter Graham (eds.), Epistemic Entitlement. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2019)
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Entitlement is defined as a sort of epistemic justification that one can possess by default – a sort of epistemic justification that does not need to be earned or acquired. Epistemologists who accept the existence of entitlement generally have a certain anti-sceptical role in mind for it – entitlement is intended to help us resist what would otherwise be compelling radical sceptical arguments. But this role leaves various details unspecified and, thus, leaves scope for a number of different potential conceptions of entitlement. At one extreme there are conceptions that portray entitlement as a weak, attenuated epistemic status and, at the other, we have conceptions that portray entitlement as something potent and strong. Certain intermediate conceptions are also possible. In this paper, I shall argue that the weak and intermediate conceptions of entitlement do not survive careful scrutiny, and the stronger conceptions – while they do, in a way, strain credulity – are the only conceptions that are ultimately viable.

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Martin Smith
University of Edinburgh


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