The independence of (in)coherence

Synthese 199 (3-4):6563-6584 (2021)
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On an increasingly popular view of rationality, rationality is fundamentally about responding correctly to reasons and there is no independent rational requirement to avoid incoherence: having an incoherent combination of attitudes is irrational not because there is a fundamental requirement of rationality that prohibits it, but rather because you are guaranteed to fail to respond correctly to reasons in having it. This paper argues that any such attempt to explain the irrationality of incoherence in terms of responsiveness to reasons fails. For there is something distinctively irrational about incoherence that is not explained in terms of the guaranteed failure to respond to reasons. Any adequate account of the nature of coherence requirements on belief and intention should take into account the distinctive kind of commitments involved in each type of attitude. (*published with open access)

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Wooram Lee
Seoul National University

Citations of this work

What is Structural Rationality?Wooram Lee - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
Instrumental Rationality.John Brunero & Niko Kolodny - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Coherence and Knowability.Luis Rosa - 2022 - The Philosophical Quarterly 72 (4):960-978.

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What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Rationality Through Reasoning.John Broome (ed.) - 2013 - Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Intention, plans, and practical reason.Michael Bratman - 1987 - Cambridge: Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Knowledge in an uncertain world.Jeremy Fantl & Matthew McGrath - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Matthew McGrath.

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