Are There Counterexamples to the Consistency Principle?

Episteme 20 (4):852-869 (2023)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Must rational thinkers have consistent sets of beliefs? I shall argue that it can be rational for a thinker to believe a set of propositions known to be inconsistent. If this is right, an important test for a theory of rational belief is that it allows for the right kinds of inconsistency. One problem we face in trying to resolve disagreements about putative rational requirements is that parties to the disagreement might be working with different conceptions of the relevant attitudes. My aim is modest. I hope to show that there is at least one important notion of belief such that a thinker might rationally hold a collection of beliefs (so understood) even when the thinker knows their contents entail a contradiction.

Similar books and articles

Normality, safety and knowledge.Markos Valaris - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 106 (2):394-401.
Knowledge and Assertion.Joshua Anderson - 2020 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 16 (1):33-52.
Knowledge and Assertion: A Critique of Lackey.Joshua Anderson - 2020 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 16 (1):33-52.
Do constitutive norms on belief explain Moore’s Paradox?Christopher Cowie - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (6):1685-1702.
No Justificatory Closure without Truth.Francesco Praolini - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):715-726.
Knowledge Is (Still) the Norm of Assertion.Kok Yong Lee - 2017 - NCCU Philosophical Journal 37:33-74.
Knowledge and practical reason.Jessica Brown - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (6):1135-1152.
The normality of error.Sam Carter & Simon Goldstein - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (8):2509-2533.
Knowledge Norms and Assessing Them Well.Dustin Locke - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (1):80-89.
Memory belief is weak.Changsheng Lai - 2023 - Ratio 36 (3):204-214.


Added to PP

176 (#111,065)

6 months
176 (#17,093)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Clayton Littlejohn
Australian Catholic University

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Justification and the Truth-Connection.Clayton Littlejohn - 2012 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Lockeans Maximize Expected Accuracy.Kevin Dorst - 2019 - Mind 128 (509):175-211.
Between Probability and Certainty: What Justifies Belief.Martin Smith - 2016 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK.

View all 51 references / Add more references