JustRightEPR. A candidate for duties S has a justified belief in a proposition p if and only if
(a) S believes that p
(b) S has no epistemic duty not to believe that p.
If we now allow that the reference to an epistemic right in (JustRight) is to be interpreted as the relatively weak (JustRightEPR), as Wenar concluded, then the path is laid to save the view that justification confers an epistemic right to believe, and this parallel between ethics and epistemology is preserved. For it is surely the case that when one’s total evidence justifies one in believing that p, there is no epistemic duty against believing p ...
But things are not as straightforward as they may first appear. When philosophers talk of having an epistemic right to believe, or being epistemically entitled to believe, or having the epistemic authority to believe, they have in mind something stronger than the mere permissibility which (JustRightEPR) implies. The epistemic privilege right to believe is entailed by having on-balance justification for a belief, but there is more to having on balance justification for p than simply having no epistemic duty not to believe that p. This difference is what undermines the (JustRightEPR) interpretation of (JustRight). [I disagree with this--CL]
Here is an example of an ordinary privilege right. Smith picks up a piece of seaweed floating in international waters. Her doing so is permissible; she has no obligation not to pick up the seaweed. If she had chosen instead to leave it be, she would have done something permissible. Smith has no obligation not to leave it be. If the seaweed in the example is replaced by an object in the water that would have some non-negligible benefit to Smith but would serve no significant purpose to anyone else, a shell which would complete her collection, perhaps, again if Smith picks it up she does something permissible. If she chooses not to pick it up, she also does something permissible. She has no moral obligation to pick up the shell. It certainly is in her interest to pick up the shell. She would benefit if she did so, and the effort to acquire the shell is minimal. It may be prudentially obligatory that Smith should pick up the shell, but that is not the same as moral obligation.
This structure is not reflected in an epistemic right to believe. Suppose a rational adult agent Jones who has a total body of evidence E is considering which doxastic attitude to hold towards some proposition p. Suppose E justifies p: very roughly, were Jones to believe that p on the basis of E, he would be justified in believing that p. But p is false, and so it is false that were Jones to believe that p on the basis of E, then he would know that p. If he does in fact believe that p, he will do what is epistemically permissible. He has no epistemic obligation not to believe p given the facts about his evidence. But if Jones instead does not believe that p, then to maintain parity with the discussion of moral privilege rights, it should often not be the case that he has done something epistemically impermissible. He should often lack an epistemic duty not to disbelieve that p. But it is false that often Jones does something epistemically permissible when he believes that not-p when his total evidence justifies p. Therefore the view that epistemic rights are merely privilege rights is false.
This strikes me as a rather strange argument. I can't see how the argument could succeed unless we were to assume that there was no epistemic duty to refrain from believing without adequate evidence. But isn't there such a duty?
Bracket that. Glick seems to assume that you have a claim right only when you often also have a lot of latitude. But, there's nothing to the concept of a claim right that suggests (in a way that is obvious to me) that such rights are enjoyed only when there's also a lot of latitude in how to exercise such rights. Yes, there's a difference between picking up seaweed and picking up an attitude, but I don't see why the fact that there's less doxastic latitude entails that (JustRightEPR) is false since that claim entails nothing about the amount of doxastic latitude we have.
Here's a view on which justified belief is just the belief you have a claim right to. Your only epistemic duty is to refrain from believing what you don't know. I don't see that there's anything above that suggests that you couldn't defend this version of (JustRightEPR).