Stop Making Sense? On a Puzzle about Rationality

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research:257-272 (2018)
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Abstract

In this paper, I present a puzzle about epistemic rationality. It seems plausible that it should be rational to believe a proposition if you have sufficient evidential support for it. It seems plausible that it rationality requires you to conform to the categorical requirements of rationality. It also seems plausible that our first-order attitudes ought to mesh with our higher-order attitudes. It seems unfortunate that we cannot accept all three claims about rationality. I will present three ways of trying to resolve this tension and argue that the best way to do this is to reject the idea that strong evidential support is the stuff rationality is made of. In the course of doing this, I shall argue that there is a special class of propositions about the requirements of rationality that we cannot make rational mistakes about and explain how this can be.

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Clayton Littlejohn
Australian Catholic University

Citations of this work

The Conflict of Evidence and Coherence.Alex Worsnip - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 96 (1):3-44.
Radical Externalism.Amia Srinivasan - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (3):395-431.
Evidence: A Guide for the Uncertain.Kevin Dorst - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (3):586-632.
Being More Realistic About Reasons: On Rationality and Reasons Perspectivism.Clayton Littlejohn - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (3):605-627.

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References found in this work

Rationality Through Reasoning.John Broome (ed.) - 2013 - Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Justification and the Truth-Connection.Clayton Littlejohn - 2012 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Knowledge and lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2004 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge in an uncertain world.Jeremy Fantl & Matthew McGrath - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Matthew McGrath.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.

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