The Real Myth of Coherence

Erkenntnis 87 (3):1211-1230 (2022)
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Abstract

In this paper, I offer a novel view of the coherence (or structural) requirements on belief and intention, according to which they are not norms, but rather principles describing how your belief and intention operate. I first argue, on the basis of the unintelligibility of some relevant attitudes-reports, that there are conditions under which you simply do not count as believing or intending unless your beliefs and intentions satisfy the requirements: the conditions under which all of your relevant attitudes are occurrent or activated. I then argue that you are subject to a coherence requirement only if your relevant attitudes are all activated, for you are not necessarily subject to the charge of irrationality in violating a coherence requirement when your attitudes are not all activated. If so, however, you satisfy the coherence requirements whenever you are subject to them, which makes it plausible that the “requirements” should be seen as descriptive principles about belief and intention. [*published with open access]

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Author's Profile

Wooram Lee
Seoul National University

Citations of this work

Structural Rationality and the Property of Coherence.Marc-Kevin Daoust - 2023 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 104 (1):170-194.
What is Structural Rationality?Wooram Lee - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
Instrumental Rationality.John Brunero & Niko Kolodny - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The independence of (in)coherence.Wooram Lee - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):6563-6584.
Structural Rationality.Benjamin Kiesewetter & Alex Worsnip - 2023 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
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.

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