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AbstractionismEssays in Philosophy of Mathematics$
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Philip A Ebert and Marcus Rossberg

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199645268

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199645268.001.0001

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Hume’s Principle and Entitlement: On the Epistemology of the Neo-Fregean Program

Hume’s Principle and Entitlement: On the Epistemology of the Neo-Fregean Program

9 (p.186) Hume’s Principle and Entitlement: On the Epistemology of the Neo-Fregean Program

Nikolaj Jang Lee Pedersen

Oxford University Press

Hume’s Principle (HP) is the key principle in the neo-Fregean account of arithmetical knowledge. In discussing the epistemology of the neo-Fregean program, Crispin Wright has proposed that acceptance of HP is warranted non-evidentially, as a matter of entitlement of cognitive project. The nature of entitlement of cognitive project remains a relatively unexplored matter. The aim of this paper is to shed some light on the notion. I start by providing some epistemological stage-setting and then introduce Wright’s notion of entitlement of cognitive project in detail. I proceed to investigate precisely how the notion is meant to apply in the context of the neo-Fregean program. This is the first half of the paper. In the second half I raise and discuss three general issues pertaining to entitlement. First, I discuss precisely how to understand the notion of reason. Second, I explore whether, as Wright intends, entitlements are defeasible. Third, I raise a prima facie worry about entitlement—what I label the “Generosity Problem.”

Keywords:   neo-Fregeanism, entitlement, Hume’s Principle, reasons, defeasibility, Generosity Problem

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