, Volume 189, Issue 2, pp 297-315
Date: 01 Dec 2011

Mere faith and entitlement

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Abstract

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.”