Liberalism, entitlement, and verdict exclusion

Synthese 171 (3):481 - 497 (2009)
In a series of recent papers, Crispin Wright has developed and defended an epistemic account of borderline cases which he calls ‘Liberalism’. If Verdict Exclusion is the claim that no polar verdict on borderline cases is knowledgeable, then Liberalism implies the view that Verdict Exclusion is itself nothing we are in a position to know. It is a matter of ongoing discussion what more Liberalism implies. In any case, Wright argues that Liberalism affords the means to account for the intuition that polar verdicts on borderline cases are equally permissible. Here I argue that Liberalism fails to deliver and that an account of borderline cases based on Verdict Exclusion fares much better when it comes to showing that our ordinary practice of reaching verdicts on borderline cases is fully legitimate: all it needs is a reassessment of the nature of the claims such verdicts express.
Keywords Vagueness  Borderline cases  Entitlement  Knowledge  Internalism
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