The epistemic virtues of consistency

Synthese 109 (2):121-141 (1996)
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Abstract

The lottery paradox has been discussed widely. The standard solution to the lottery paradox is that a ticket holder is justified in believing each ticket will lose but the ticket holder is also justified in believing not all of the tickets will lose. If the standard solution is true, then we get the paradoxical result that it is possible for a person to have a justified set of beliefs that she knows is inconsistent. In this paper, I argue that the best solution to the paradox is that a ticket holder is not justified in believing any of the tickets are losers. My solution avoids the paradoxical result of the standard solution. The solution I defend has been hastily rejected by other philosophers because it appears to lead to skepticism. I defend my solution from the threat of skepticism and give two arguments in favor of my conclusion that the ticket holder in the original lottery case is not justified in believing that his ticket will lose.

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Sharon Ryan
West Virginia University

References found in this work

Theory of knowledge.Roderick M. Chisholm - 1966 - Englewood Cliffs, N.J.,: Prentice-Hall.
The theory of epistemic rationality.Richard Foley - 1987 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
An Analysis of Knowledge and Valuation.Clarence Irving Lewis - 1946 - La Salle, IL, USA: Open Court.
Knowledge.Keith Lehrer - 1974 - Oxford: Clarendon Press.

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