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Scepticism and Perceptual Justification$
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Dylan Dodd and Elia Zardini

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199658343

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199658343.001.0001

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Entitlement and the Groundlessness of Our Believing*

Entitlement and the Groundlessness of Our Believing*

Chapter:
(p.190) 10 Entitlement and the Groundlessness of Our Believing*
Source:
Scepticism and Perceptual Justification
Author(s):

Duncan Pritchard

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199658343.003.0010

A familiar kind of sceptical problem of both a local and a global variety is described. A popular strategy inspired by Wittgenstein’s remarks on ‘hinge propositions’ in On Certainty for dealing with this problem which makes appeal to the notion of entitlement is then set out, and the core problem facing this strategy is outlined. It is argued that the local sceptical problem is in fact entirely illusory, and hence that the entitlement strategy is not needed for dealing with it. Furthermore, it is claimed that a deeper reflection on the kind of commitments we have to hinge propositions—a reflection that draws more heavily on Wittgenstein’s remarks in this regard—reveals that the global sceptical problem is ultimately illusory too. Again, then, the entitlement strategy is not required in order to deal with this problem. Still, it is argued that there is an important anti-sceptical role that the entitlement strategy—at least once suitably reconfigured—can play, in that it can offer us a rational basis on which we can embrace the limited power of our reasons (something which is highlighted by the sceptical problem). Moreover, this reconfigured version of the entitlement strategy does not face the core problem that the standard version of this strategy is susceptible to.

Keywords:   closure principle, entitlement, epistemology, hinge propositions, knowledge, reasons, scepticism, Wittgenstein

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