The explanatory role of consistency requirements

Synthese 197 (10):4551-4569 (2020)
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Abstract

Is epistemic inconsistency a mere symptom of having violated other requirements of rationality—notably, reasons-responsiveness requirements? Or is inconsistency irrational on its own? This question has important implications for the debate on the normativity of epistemic rationality. In this paper, I defend a new account of the explanatory role of the requirement of epistemic consistency. Roughly, I will argue that, in cases where an epistemically rational agent is permitted to believe P and also permitted to disbelieve P, the consistency requirement plays a distinct explanatory role. I will also argue that such a type of permissiveness is a live possibility when it comes to rational epistemic standards.

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Marc-Kevin Daoust
École de Technologie Supérieure

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