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I—Crispin Wright: Warrant for Nothing (and Foundations for Free)?

Crispin Wright
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0309-7013.2004.00121.x 167-212 First published online: 1 July 2004

Abstract

My life consists in my being content to accept many things

(Wittgenstein On Certainty x344)

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-exempli.es that identi.cation. 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.

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