, Volume 80, Issue 3, pp 657–673 | Cite as

No Match Point for the Permissibility Account

  • Anna-Maria Asunta Eder
Original Article


In the literature, one finds two accounts of the normative status of rational belief: the ought account and the permissibility account. Both accounts have their advantages and shortcomings, making it difficult to favour one over the other. Imagine that there were two principles of rational belief or rational degrees of belief commonly considered plausible, but which, however, yielded a paradox together with one account, but not with the other. One of the accounts therefore requires us to give up one of the plausible principles; whereas the other allows us to save them both. The fact that it allows us to save both of the plausible principles might well be considered a strong reason in favour of the relevant account. The permissibility-account-based resolution of the lottery paradox suggests that the permissibility account is a candidate for being supported in this way, since the account seems to save two plausible principles of rational belief and rational degrees of belief. I argue that even if the permissibility account were supported in this way the support would be defeated, since one cannot provide an analogous resolution of the preface paradox. The principles remain unsaved by the permissibility account.


Strong Reason Rational Belief Epistemic Justification Ticket Lottery Total Evidence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Thanks to Peter Brössel, Thomas Kroedel, Hannes Leitgeb, Wolfgang Spohn, Raphael van Riel, and Ben Young for insightful suggestions and comments on previous versions of this paper. I am also grateful to three anonymous referees for providing very helpful remarks. My research was funded by the Volkswagenstiftung (Dilthey Program) through the research project A Study in Explanatory Power at the University of Duisburg-Essen as well as by a fellowship (Stipendium nach dem Landesgraduiertenförderungsgesetz) sponsored by the State of Baden-Württemberg (Germany).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy DepartmentUniversity Duisburg-EssenEssenGermany

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