, Volume 109, Issue 2, pp 121–141 | Cite as

The epistemic virtues of consistency

  • Sharon Ryan


The lottery paradox has been discussed widely. The standard solution to the lottery paradox is that a ticket holder is justified in believing each ticket will lose but the ticket holder is also justified in believing not all of the tickets will lose. If the standard solution is true, then we get the paradoxical result that it is possible for a person to have a justified set of beliefs that she knows is inconsistent. In this paper, I argue that the best solution to the paradox is that a ticket holder is not justified in believing any of the tickets are losers. My solution avoids the paradoxical result of the standard solution. The solution I defend has been hastily rejected by other philosophers because it appears to lead to skepticism. I defend my solution from the threat of skepticism and give two arguments in favor of my conclusion that the ticket holder in the original lottery case is not justified in believing that his ticket will lose.


Paradoxical Result Epistemic Virtue Lottery Paradox Lottery Case Ticket Holder 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sharon Ryan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA

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