Evidence-Coherence Conflicts Revisited

In Nick Hughes (ed.), Epistemic Dilemmas. Oxford University Press (2021)
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There are at least two different aspects of our rational evaluation of agents’ doxastic attitudes. First, we evaluate these attitudes according to whether they are supported by one’s evidence (substantive rationality). Second, we evaluate these attitudes according to how well they cohere with one another (structural rationality). In previous work, I’ve argued that substantive and structural rationality really are distinct, sui generis, kinds of rationality – call this view ‘dualism’, as opposed to ‘monism’, about rationality – by arguing that the requirements of substantive and structural rationality can come into conflict. In this paper, I push the dialectic on this issue forward in two main ways. First, I argue that the most promising ways of resisting the diagnosis of my cases as conflicts still end up undermining monism in different ways. Second, supposing for the sake of argument that we should understand the cases as conflicts, I address the question of what we should do when such conflicts arise. I argue that, at least in a prominent kind of conflict case, the coherence requirements take precedence over the evidential requirements.



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Alex Worsnip
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Citations of this work

Epistemic Dilemmas: A Guide.Nick Hughes - forthcoming - In Essays on Epistemic Dilemmas. Oxford University Press.
Epistemology without guidance.Nick Hughes - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (1):163-196.
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References found in this work

Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.
The Importance of Being Rational.Errol Lord - 2018 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
The Normativity of Rationality.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2017 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (210):105-116.

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