Entitlement, Leaching and Counter-Closure

Federico Luzzi* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Crispin Wright has articulated and defended the view that by incorporating non-evidential entitlements into our theory of knowledge, we can achieve a satisfactory reply to key sceptical challenges. Crucial to this view is the thesis that various regions of thought are underpinned by ‘cornerstone’ propositions—propositions for which warrant is antecedently required in order for non-cornerstone or ‘ordinary’ beliefs in that region to enjoy the epistemic support of experiential evidence. Critics of this view have noted that because cornerstone propositions are entailed by ordinary propositions, a plausible Closure principle delivers two unwelcome results: that one can acquire evidential justification for cornerstones via deduction (alchemy) and that the epistemic risk involved in accepting cornerstone propositions impugns the evidential justification we are supposed to have for ordinary propositions (leaching). Noting that cornerstone propositions are not only potential conclusions of deductive inferences from ordinary propositions, but are primarily intended on Wright’s view to perform an enabling role in the inference from evidence to non-cornerstone propositions, I argue that leaching has been misdiagnosed by Wright and his critics as relying
essentially on a Closure principle. Instead, it relies on a Counter-Closure-style principle. I argue that once this point is recognised, Wright’s own solution to the leaching problem becomes unsatisfactory, and that a guiding maxim from the extant literature for demarcating true from false Counter-Closure-style principles can be usefully applied to identify a successful resolution to the
leaching worry on Wright’s behalf.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIlluminating Errors
Subtitle of host publicationNew Essays on Knowledge from Non-Knowledge
EditorsR. Borges, I. Schnee
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9781000897616
ISBN (Print)9780367630423
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 selection and editorial matter, Rodrigo Borges and Ian Schnee; individual chapters, the contributors.


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