The Myth of Practical Consistency

European Journal of Philosophy 16 (3):366-402 (2008)
Niko Kolodny It is often said that there is a special class of norms, ‘rational requirements’, that demand that our attitudes be related one another in certain ways, whatever else may be the case.1 In recent work, a special class of these rational requirements has attracted particular attention: what I will call ‘requirements of formal coherence as such’, which require just that our attitudes be formally coherent.2 For example, we are rationally required, if we believe something, to believe what it entails. And we are rationally required, if we intend an end, to intend what we take to be necessary means to it. The intuitive idea is that formally incoherent attitudes give rise to a certain normative tension, or exert a kind of rational pressure on each another, and this tension, or pressure, is relieved just when one of the attitudes is revised. As John Broome observes, these requirements are, by their nature, ‘wide scope’, which is to say that there is no particular attitude that one must have or lack in order to satisfy them. This is because they require just formal coherence, and there is no particular attitude that one must have or lack in order to be formally coherent.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-0378.2008.00325.x
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References found in this work BETA
Thomas Scanlon (1998). What We Owe to Each Other. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA
Errol Lord (2014). The Coherent and the Rational. Analytic Philosophy 54 (4):151-175.
Sam Shpall (2013). Wide and Narrow Scope. Philosophical Studies 163 (3):717-736.
Sam Shpall (2014). Moral and Rational Commitment. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (1):146-172.

View all 36 citations / Add more citations

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