Epistemic Entitlement. The Right to Believe

Palgrave MacMillan (2014)

Hannes Matthiessen
Humboldt-University, Berlin
In Epistemic Entitlement. The Right to Believe Hannes Ole Matthiessen develops a social externalist account of epistemic entitlement and perceptual knowledge. The basic idea is that positive epistemic status should be understood as a specific kind of epistemic right, that is a right to believe. Since rights have consequences for how others are required to treat the bearer of the right, they have to be publicly accessible. The author therefore suggests that epistemic entitlement can plausibly be conceptualized as a status that is grounded in a publicly observable perceptual situation, rather than in a perceptual experience as current theories of epistemic entitlement state. It is then argued that such a social externalist account of entitlement, in which the perceiver's epistemic perspective becomes relevant only in the exceptional case where an entitlement is challenged, can nevertheless do justice to our central intuitions about first-personal epistemic phenomenology.
Keywords Epistemology of Perception  Epistemic Entitlement  Defeasibility  Social Externalism
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