Coherence as Competence

Episteme 18 (3):353-376 (2021)
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Abstract

Being incoherent is often viewed as a paradigm kind of irrationality. Numerous authors attempt to explain the distinct-seeming failure of incoherence by positing a set of requirements of structural rationality. I argue that the notion of coherence that structural requirements are meant to capture is very slippery, and that intuitive judgments – in particular, a charge of a distinct, blatant kind of irrationality – are very imperfectly correlated with respecting the canon of structural requirements. I outline an alternative strategy for explaining our patterns of normative disapproval, one appealing to feasible dispositions to conform to substantive, non-structural norms. A wide range of paradigmatic cases of incoherence, I will argue, involve manifesting problematic dispositions, dispositions that manifest across a range of cases as blatant-seeming normative failures.

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Maria Lasonen-Aarnio
University of Helsinki

Citations of this work

Structural Rationality.Benjamin Kiesewetter & Alex Worsnip - 2023 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Evidence-Coherence Conflicts Revisited.Alex Worsnip - 2021 - In Nick Hughes (ed.), Epistemic Dilemmas. Oxford University Press.
What is Structural Rationality?Wooram Lee - 2024 - Philosophical Quarterly 74 (2):614-636.
The rationality of epistemic akrasia.John Hawthorne, Yoaav Isaacs & Maria Lasonen-Aarnio - 2021 - Philosophical Perspectives 35 (1):206-228.

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References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Belief, Credence, and Pragmatic Encroachment.Jacob Ross & Mark Schroeder - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):259-288.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
Why be rational.Niko Kolodny - 2005 - Mind 114 (455):509-563.
The Conflict of Evidence and Coherence.Alex Worsnip - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 96 (1):3-44.

View all 45 references / Add more references