In this paper I propose a relativistic version of entitlement theory about reasonable belief (§2) and argue that this vindicates naïve liberalism (§1): the view that there can be mutually recognized reasonable disagreements in religion and politics. I describe the conditions for mutually recognized reasonable disagreement (§3), and consider some objections to the proposed view (§4).
The paper develops a conception of epistemic warrant as applied to perceptual belief, called "entitlement", that does not require the warranted individual to be capable of understanding the warrant. The conception is situated within an account of animal perception and unsophisticated perceptual belief. It characterizes entitlement as fulfillment of an epistemic norm that is apriori associated with a certain representational function that can be known apriori to be a function of perception. The paper connects anti-individualism, a thesis about (...) the nature of mental states, and perceptual entitlement. It presents an argument that explains the objectivity and validity of perceptual entitlement partly in terms of the nature of perceptual states–hence the nature of perceptual beliefs, which are constitutively associated with perceptual states. The paper discusses ways that an individual can be entitled to perceptual belief through its connection to perception, and ways that entitlement to perceptual belief can be undermined. (shrink)
In his seminal paper, Content Preservation, Tyler Burge defends an original account of testimonial knowledge. The originality of the account is due, in part, to the fact that it is cast within a novel epistemic framework. The central feature of that framework is the introduction of the concept of entitlement, which is alleged to be a distinctive type of positive epistemic support or warrant. Entitlement and justification, according to Burge, are sub-species of warrant. Justification is the internalist form (...) of warrant, but entitlement is epistemically externalist. My focus in this paper is Burgeâs conception of entitlement, and there are three primary issues that I wish to address. What is the relationship between entitlement and the more traditional concept of justification? In what sense is entitlement epistemically externalist? Has Burge introduced a new epistemic concept or merely coined a new term for a familiar epistemic concept? (shrink)
According to the bootstrapping problem, any view that allows for basic knowledge (knowledge obtained from a reliable source prior to one’s knowing that that source is reliable) is forced to accept that one can utilize a track-record argument to acquire justification for believing that one’s belief source is reliable; yet, we tend to think that acquiring justification in this way is too easy. In this paper I argue, first, that those who respond to the bootstrapping problem by denying basic knowledge (...) succumb to over-intellectualizing epistemology, and secondly, reliabilist views avoid over-intellectualization only at the expense of sanctioning bootstrapping as a benign procedure. Both of these outcomes are difficult to bear. To ward off each of these unsavory outcomes, I propose an alternative solution that draws on a distinction between two separate epistemic concepts: entitlement and justification. (shrink)
The scandal to philosophy and human reason, wrote Kant, is that we must take the existence of material objects on mere faith . In contrast, the skeptical paradox that has scandalized recent philosophy is not formulated in terms of faith, but rather in terms of justification, warrant, and entitlement. I argue that most contemporary approaches to the paradox (both dogmatist/liberal and default/conservative) do not address the traditional problem that scandalized Kant, and that the status of having a warrant (or (...) justification) that is derived from entitlement is irrelevant to whether we take our beliefs on mere faith. For, one can have the sort of warrant that most contemporary anti-skeptics posit while still taking one’s belief on mere faith. An alternative approach to the traditional problem is sketched, one that still makes use of contemporary insights about “entitlement.”. (shrink)
The notion of entitlement plays an important role in some influential epistemologies. Often the epistemological motive for introducing the concept is to accommodate certain externalist intuitions within an internalist framework or, conversely, to incorporate internalist traits into an otherwise externalist position. In this paper two prominent philosophers will be used as examples: Tyler Burge as a representative of the first option and Fred Dretske as one of the second. However, even on the assumption that the concept of entitlement (...) is sufficiently clarified, accomplishing these results is easier said than done – especially if we also want to ascribe positive epistemic value to entitlement. It will be shown that the epistemic value of entitlement is either granted at the expense of the epistemic value of justification or the value ends up below the level of value at which the epistemologists employing the concept of entitlement are aiming. (shrink)
Susan Okin read Robert Nozick as taking it to be fundamental to his Libertarianism that people own themselves, and that they can acquire entitlement to other things by making them. But she thinks that, since mothers make people, all people must then be owned by their mothers, a consequence Okin finds absurd. She sees no way for Nozick to make a principled exception to the idea that people own what they make when what they make is people, concluding that (...) Nozick’s theory of entitlement must be false, and that entitlement must instead be rooted in people’s needs. I say Okin misreads Nozick’s Libertarianism. In fact, its fundamental principle is that, simply by being persons, people are entitled to the maximum negative liberty compatible with a like liberty for all persons. Further, Nozick, and Jan Narveson, who has taken on the advocacy of Libertarian ideas, analyze liberty as freedom to interact with things, and analyze being entitled to or having property in something, as freedom to interact with it, to determine what may be done with it. People therefore have such freedom to do what they want with themselves, and such freedom to do what they want with other things, as is compatible with all persons having similar freedom. The former is what self-ownership amounts to, the latter, ownership of other things. Libertarianism’s fundamental principle therefore both grounds and delimits entitlements in ways entailing that mothers don’t own persons by dint of making them. Otherwise, since it would then be the prerogative of mothers to determine what shall be done with the persons they made, the persons made would lack equal liberty, this violating the fundamental principle. (shrink)
The paper starts by describing and clarifying what Williamson calls the consequence fallacy. I show two ways in which one might commit the fallacy. The first, which is rather trivial, involves overlooking background information; the second way, which is the more philosophically interesting, involves overlooking prior probabilities. In the following section, I describe a powerful form of sceptical argument, which is the main topic of the paper, elaborating on previous work by Huemer. The argument attempts to show the impossibility of (...) defeasible justification, justification based on evidence which does not entail the (allegedly) justified proposition or belief. I then discuss the relation between the consequence fallacy, or some similar enough reasoning, and that form of argument. I argue that one can resist that form of sceptical argument if one gives up the idea that a belief cannot be justified unless it is supported by the totality of the evidence available to the subject—a principle entailed by many prominent epistemological views, most clearly by epistemological evidentialism. The justification, in the relevant cases, should instead derive solely from the prior probability of the proposition. A justification of this sort, that does not rely on evidence, would amount to a form of entitlement, in (something like) Crispin Wright’s sense. I conclude with some discussion of how to understand prior probabilities, and how to develop the notion of entitlement in an externalist epistemological framework. (shrink)
This article is concerned with the question of the nature of the epistemic liaison between experience and belief. The problem, often known as the problem of nondoxastic justification, is to see how a causal transition between experience and belief could assume a normative dimension, that is, how perceptual experience serves to justify beliefs about the world. Currently a number of theories have been proposed to resolve this problem. The article considers a particular solution offered by Tyler Burge which, among other (...) things, introduces a new type of positive epistemic status or warrant, namely, entitlement. It contends that Burge's notion of entitlement cannot be of any help in resolving the problem of nondoxastic justification. Burge's account is compared and contrasted with other, similar, approaches to the problem of nondoxastic justification. (shrink)
The central claim of this paper is that the culture of entitlement in education is incoherent to the extent to which it rejects: concepts of educational achievement. It gives an account of some of the conceptual features of achievement and educational achievement, and argues that although educational and academic achievement are closely linked with each other they are distinct. It tries to show why academic practices are central in our conceptions of the value of educational achievement. In terms of (...) the concept of epistemological access it argues that the agency of the learner is necessary to educational access, and, hence, educational achievement, but that the culture of entitlement in education has a strong tendency to deny this. The paper tries to show in what ways the culture of entitlement presupposes the concept of educational achievement. (shrink)
When randomly assigning participants to experimental roles and the according payment prospects, participants seem to receive “manna from heaven.” In our view, this seriously questions the validity of laboratory findings. We depart from this by auctioning off player roles via the incentive compatible random price mechanism thus avoiding the selection effect of competitive second price auctions. Our experiment employs the generosity game where the proposer chooses the size of the pie, facing an exogenously given own agreement payoff, and the responder (...) is the residual claimant. We find that entitlement crowds out equality seeking and strengthens efficiency seeking. More generally, we find that inducing entitlement for the roles in which participants find themselves makes a difference. Interpreting participants’ willingness to pay for their role as their aspiration level further allows to test satisficing and explore “mutual satisficing.” We find that responder participants apparently do not anticipate proposer generosity in aspiration formation. (shrink)
This paper evaluates the prospects of harnessing “anti-individualism” about the contents of perceptual states to give an account of the epistemology of perception, making special reference to Tyler Burge’s ( 2003 ) paper, “Perceptual Entitlement”. I start by clarifying what kind of warrant is provided by perceptual experience, and I go on to survey different ways one might explain the warrant provided by perceptual experience in terms of anti-individualist views about the individuation of perceptual states. I close by motivating (...) accounts which instead give a more prominent role to consciousness. (shrink)
In the early 1990s there emerged a growing interest with the concept of epistemic entitlement. Philosophers who acknowledge the existence of entitlements maintain that there are beliefs or judgments unsupported by evidence available to the subject, but which the subject nonetheless has the epistemic right to hold. Some of these may include beliefs non-inferentially sourced in perception, memory, introspection, testimony, and the a priori. Unlike the traditional notion of justification, entitlement is often characterized as an externalist type of (...) epistemic warrant, in the sense that a subject’s being entitled is determined by facts and circumstances that are independent of any reasoning capacities she may or may not have, and which the subject herself need not understand or be able to recognize. One key motivation for this view is that the inclusion of entitlement in epistemology can account for the commonly held intuition that largely unreflective individuals, such as children and non-human animals, possess warrant and basic knowledge about the world. It also paves the way for a tenable foundationalist epistemology, according to which there exist warranted beliefs which are not themselves warranted or justified by any further beliefs. This article explores theories of entitlement as presented by four prominent philosophers: Fred Dretske, Tyler Burge, Crispin Wright, and Christopher Peacocke. (shrink)
This two-part article offers a defense of a libertarian doctrine that centers on two propositions. The first is the self-ownership thesis according to which each individual possesses original moral rights over her own body, faculties, talents, and energies. The second is the anti-egalitarian conclusion that, through the exercise of these rights of self-ownership, individuals may readily become entitled to substantially unequal extra-personal holdings. The self-ownership thesis remains in the background during Part I of this essay, while the anti-egalitarian conclusion is (...) supported in two ways. First, I offer a reconstruction of Robert Nozick's well-known `How Liberty Upsets Patterns' argument against all end-state and pattern theories of distributive justice; and I defend this reconstructed stance against what might (otherwise) seem to be telling criticisms. Second, I defend the two key principles of Nozickian historical entitlement theory (the principle of just transfer and the principle of just initial acquisition) against criticisms offered by G.A. Cohen. Part II will center on Cohen's contention that the crucial basis for the anti-egalitarian conclusion is the self-ownership thesis. There I argue that Cohen is correct to hold that he must reject the self-ownership thesis if he is to avoid the anti-egalitarian conclusion; but he is wrong to think that he has an adequate basis for rejecting this thesis. Thus, both elements in the libertarianism under consideration are vindicated. And, the self-ownership thesis plays a surprisingly direct role in vindicating the anti-egalitarian conclusion. Key Words: egalitarianism historical entitlement moral rights self-ownership. (shrink)
Crispin Wright has recently suggested that, in addition to the notion of justification, we also possess a non-evidential notion of warrant, ‘entitlement’, that can play an important role in responding to various skeptical questions. My concern here is with the question of whether entitlement constitutes an epistemic kind of warrant. I claim Wright's argument for this thesis at most shows that entitlement has a pragmatic character. Having identified the sources of the troubles of this argument in its (...) underlying assumptions, I examine and criticize a number of attempts that have sought to substantiate those assumptions. I offer some suggestions as to how one can improve on Wright's account and make some general observations about the prospects of showing that entitlement is an epistemic type of warrant. (shrink)
This paper takes the form of a critical discussion of Crispin Wright’s notion of entitlement of cognitive project. I examine various strategies for defending the claim that entitlement can make acceptance of a proposition epistemically rational, including one which appeals to epistemic consequentialism. Ultimately, I argue, none of these strategies is successful, but the attempt to isolate points of disagreement with Wright issues in some positive proposals as to how an epistemic consequentialist should characterize epistemic rationality.
Perceptual entitlement and basic beliefs Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11098-010-9603-3 Authors Peter J. Graham, University of California, 900 University Avenue, Riverside, CA USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
In this paper I discuss two fundamental challenges concerning Crispin Wright's notion of entitlement of cognitive project: firstly, whether entitlement is an epistemic kind of warrant since, seemingly, it is not underwritten by epistemic reasons, and, secondly, whether, in the absence of such reasons, the kind of rationality associated with entitlement is epistemic in nature. The paper investigates three possible lines of response to these challenges. According to the first line of response, entitlement of cognitive project (...) is underwritten by epistemic reasons – and thus supports epistemic rationality – because, when P is an entitlement, trust in P is a dominant strategy with respect to promotion of epistemic value. The second line of response replaces dominance with maximization of expected utility. I argue that both of these proposals are flawed and develop an alternative line of response. (shrink)
[Crispin Wright] Two kinds of epistemological sceptical paradox are reviewed and a shared assumption, that warrant to accept a proposition has to be the same thing as having evidence for its truth, is noted. 'Entitlement', as used here, denotes a kind of rational warrant that counter-exemplifies that identification. The paper pursues the thought that there are various kinds of entitlement and explores the possibility that the sceptical paradoxes might receive a uniform solution if entitlement can be made (...) to reach sufficiently far. Three kinds of entitlement are characterised and given prima facie support, and a fourth is canvassed. Certain foreseeable limitations of the suggested anti-sceptical strategy are noted. The discussion is grounded, overall, in a conception of the sceptical paradoxes not as directly challenging our having any warrant for large classes of our beliefs but as crises of intellectual conscience for one who wants to claim that we do. /// [Martin Davies] Wright's account of sceptical arguments and his use of the idea of epistemic entitlement are reviewed. His notion of non-transmission of epistemic warrant is explained and a concern about his notion of entitlement is developed. An epistemological framework different from Wright's is described and several notions of entitlement are introduced. One of these, negative entitlement, is selected for more detailed comparison with Wright's notion. Thereafter, the paper shows how the two notions of entitlement have contrasting consequences for non-transmission of warrant and how they go naturally with two conceptions of the presuppositions of epistemic projects. Problems for negative entitlement are explained and solutions are proposed. (shrink)
In this paper, Crispin Wright’s unified strategy against scepticism is put under pressure through an examination of the concept of entitlement. Wright’s characterisation of a generalised form of scepticism is first described, followed by an examination of the concept of entitlement and of the role played by presuppositions in his strategy. This will make manifest the transcendental structure of this response to scepticism. The paper ends with a discussion of the effectiveness of this transcendental strategy in providing a (...) satisfying response to scepticism. (shrink)
Entitlement is conceived as a kind of positive epistemic status, attaching to certain propositions, that involves no cognitive or intellectual accomplishment on the part of the beneficiary — a status that is in place by default. In this paper I will argue that the notion of entitlement — or something very like it — falls out of an idea that may at first blush seem rather disparate: that the evidential support relation can be understood as a kind of (...) variably strict conditional (in the sense of Lewis 1973). Lewis provided a general recipe for deriving what he termed inner modalities from any variably strict conditional governed by a logic meeting certain constraints. On my proposal, entitlement need be nothing more exotic than the inner necessity associated with evidential support. Understanding entitlement in this way helps to answer some common concerns — in particular, the concern that entitlement could only be a pragmatic, and not genuinely epistemic, status. (shrink)
Before we address the question that forms the title of this paper – a question that Tyler Burge articulated, and famously and controversially answered in the affirmative[i] – let’s begin by clarifying it. Doing this will take considerable work, since we have to clarify what is meant by “entitlement”, what is meant by speaking of an entitlement’s being “a priori”, what is meant by speaking of this a priori entitlement being “preserved”, and finally, what is meant by (...) speaking of its being so preserved “by testimony”. In the course of clarifying these terms, we will locate the resources necessary for Burge to defend his view from a prominent recent criticism, a criticism that focuses on the fact that Burge regards the entitlements preserved by testimony as typically a priori. But we will also find that Burge’s argument for his view can seem plausible to us only to the extent that we confuse entitlement with justification, and this is a confusion against which Burge himself warns. (shrink)
Entitlement theorists claim that bequest is a moral right. The aim of this essay is to determine whether entitlement theorists can, on their own grounds, consistently defend that claim. I argue that even if there is a moral right to self-appropriated property and to engage in inter vivos transfers, it is a mistake to contend that there exists an equivalent moral right to make a bequest. Taxing or regulating bequest does not violate an individual’s moral rights because, regardless (...) of whether bequest safeguards certain interests, those interests are not the interests of a living, morally inviolable being. Instead, they are the interests of a deceased entity that has lost the ability to track what it values and pursue projects in accord with those values – a quality that by entitlement theorists’ own arguments renders persons morally significant and deserving of rights in the first place. (shrink)
I discuss Burge's argument that our entitlement to self-knowledge consists in the constitutive relation between the second-order review of thoughts and the thoughts reviewed, and defend it against Peacocke's criticism. I then argue that though our entitlement to self-knowledge is neutral to different environments, as Burge claims, the consideration of Burge's own notion of brute error shows that Burge's effort to reconcile externalism and self-knowledge is not successful.
In this short paper, I compare and contrast the kind of symmetric treatment of negation favoured in different ways by Huw Price (in “Why ‘Not’?”) and by me (in “Multiple Conclusions”) with Robert Brandom’s analysis of scorekeeping in terms of commitment, entitlement and incompatibility. Both kinds of account are what Brandom calls a normative pragmatics. They are both semantic anti-realist accounts of meaning in the significance of vocabulary is explained in terms of our rule-governed (normative) practice (pragmatics). These accounts (...) differ from intuitionist semantic anti-realism by providing a way to distinguish the inferential significance of “A” and “A is warranted.” Although proof plays a central role, in neither accont is verification the primary bearer of meaning. Our accounts make these distinctions in terms of a subtle analysis of our practices. On the one hand according to Price and me, we assert as well as deny; on the other, Brandom distingushes downstream commitments from upstream entitlements and the notion of incompatibility definable in terms of these. In this paper I will examine a number connections between these different approaches, and end with a discussion of the kind of account of proof that might emerge from these considerations. (shrink)
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 prohibits most forms of discrimination on the basis of genetic information in health insurance and employment. The findings cited as justification for the act, the almost universal political support for it, and much of the scholarly literature about genetic discrimination, all betray a confusion about what is really at issue. They imply that genetic discrimination is wrong mainly because of genetic exceptionalism: because some special feature of genetic information makes discrimination on the basis (...) thereof wrong. I suggest, to the contrary, that the best arguments against genetic discrimination assume that health care is an entitlement . I do this by examining two different exceptionalist arguments for genetic nondiscrimination, showing that they do not furnish good reasons for prohibiting genetic discrimination unless one supposes that health care is an entitlement. (shrink)
Shared activity is often simply willed into existence by individuals. This poses a problem. Philosophical reflection suggests that shared activity involves a distinctive, interlocking structure of intentions. But it is not obvious how one can form the intention necessary for shared activity without settling what fellow participants will do and thereby compromising their agency and autonomy. One response to this problem suggests that an individual can have the requisite intention if she makes the appropriate predictions about fellow participants. I argue (...) that implementing this predictive strategy risks derailing practical reasoning and preventing one from forming the intention. My alternative proposal for reconciling shared activity with autonomy appeals to the idea of acting directly on another's intention. In particular, I appeal to the entitlement one sometimes has to another's practical judgment, and the corresponding authority the other sometimes has to settle what one is to do. (shrink)
Crispin Wright has recently introduced a non-evidential notion of warrant – entitlement of cognitive project – as a promising response to certain sceptical arguments, which have been subject to extensive discussion within mainstream epistemology. The central idea is that, for a given class of cognitive projects, there are certain basic propositions – entitlements – which one is warranted in trusting provided there is no suﬃcient reason to think them false. (See Wrigh .) The aim of this paper is to (...) provide an account of the notion of entitlement of cognitive project and brieﬂy discuss the question whether there is any work for the notion of entitlement to do within the philosophy of mathematics. Bearing in mind its applications in mainstream epistemology, it will be suggested that the notion can be used to formulate a response to certain kinds of scepticism which call into question the warrantability of (acceptances of) propositions that appear integral to mathematical theorizing in a given mathematical theory T – in particular, that T is consistent and that T ’s background logic is sound. (shrink)
Rights have been criticized as incorporating features that are antithetical to ecofeminism: rights are allegedly inherently adversarial; they are based on a conception of the person that fails to reflect women’s experience, biased in an illegitimate way toward humans rather than nonhumans, overly formal, and incapable of admitting the importance of emotion in ethics. Such criticisms are founded in misunderstandings of the ways in which rights operate and may be met by an adequate theory of rights. The notions of (...) class='Hi'>entitlement and immunity that flow from a conception of rights have great use and potential in environmental ethics. Nonetheless, our understanding of moral rights must be revised in order to realize this potential. The usual attribution of moral rights is structurally arbitrary because obligations arising from others’ rights are unjustifiably distinguished from other sorts of obligations for which the same sorts of justificatory bases obtain. Once this arbitrariness is recognized, there remains little reason not to extend a continuous framework of entitlement toward nonhuman animals and nature more generally. Reassessing moral rights according to a basic principle of respect delivers an integrated account of our moral obligations toward one another, and a satisfactory basis from which to account for our diverse obligations toward nonhuman animals and the environment. (shrink)
This paper explores the implications of Roman Catholic teachings on social justice and rights to health care. It argues that contemporary societies, such as those in North America and Western Europe, have an obligation to provide health care to their citizens as a matter of right. Moral considerations provide a basis for evaluating concerns about the role of equality when determining health care entitlements and giving some precision to the widespread belief that the right to health care requires equal (...) class='Hi'>entitlement to health care benefits. (shrink)
In What Philosophers Know, Gary Gutting provides an epistemology of philosophical reflection. This paper focuses on the roles that various intuitive inputs are said to play in philosophical thought. Gutting argues that philosophers are defeasibly entitled to believe some of these, prior to the outcome of the philosophical reflection, and that they then rightly serve as significant (again defeasible) anchors on reflection. This paper develops a view of epistemic entitlement and applies it to argue that many prephilosophical convictions of (...) the kind Gutting discusses would be just the sort of belief for which entitlement would plausibly be defeated from the start. They then could not properly play the role in philosophical reflection that Gutting envisions for them. (shrink)
Human social life is structured by social norms creating both obligations and entitlements. Recent research has found that young children enforce simple obligations against norm violators by protesting. It is not known, however, whether they understand entitlements in the sense that they will actively object to a second party attempting to interfere in something that a third party is entitled to do — what we call counter-protest. In two studies, we found that 3-year-old children understand when a person is entitled (...) to do something, and so they actively defend this person’s entitlement against unjustified interference from second parties. In some cases, they even enforce second-order entitlements, for example, in the case of ownership where an owner is entitled to entitle others to use the owner’s property. (shrink)
This paper argues that an essential and often overlooked feature of jealousy is the sense that one is entitled to the affirmation provided by the love relationship. By turning to Sartre's and Beauvoir's analyses of love and its distortions, I will show how the public nature of identity can inhibit the possibility of genuine love. Since we must depend on the freedom of others to show us who we are, the uncertainty this introduces into one's sense of self can trigger (...) anxiety and pathological attempts to control those others upon whom one's self-value depends. In jealousy one tries to possess the other person's freedom in the hopes that a constant positive evaluation can be thereby secured. The belief that one is entitled to the self-perfection that such affirmation promises reveals both the important existential role that the beloved plays in the jealous person's psychic structure and the manner in which gender inequalities can promote such distortions of love. (shrink)
As I use the term, ‘entitlement’ is any warrant one has by default—i.e. without acquiring it. Some philosophers not only affirm the existence of entitlement, but also give it a crucial role in the justification of our perceptual beliefs. These philosophers affirm the Entitlement Thesis: An essential part of what makes our perceptual beliefs justified is our entitlement to the proposition that I am not a brain-in-a-vat. Crispin Wright, Stewart Cohen, and Roger White are among those (...) who endorse this controversial claim. In this paper, I argue that the Entitlement Thesis is false. (shrink)
material that was later incorporated into The Realm of Reason (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), and into a paper of the same title in The Challenge of Externalism, ed. R. Schantz (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2004).