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The explanatory role of consistency requirements

  • Marc-Kevin DaoustEmail author


Is epistemic inconsistency a mere symptom of having violated other requirements of rationality—notably, reasons-responsiveness requirements? Or is inconsistency irrational on its own? This question has important implications for the debate on the normativity of epistemic rationality. In this paper, I defend a new account of the explanatory role of the requirement of epistemic consistency. Roughly, I will argue that, in cases where an epistemically rational agent is permitted to believe P and also permitted to disbelieve P (relative to a body of epistemic reasons), the consistency requirement plays a distinct explanatory role. I will also argue that such a type of permissiveness is a live possibility when it comes to rational epistemic standards.


Rationality Consistency Epistemic reasons Requirements Permissiveness 



Thanks to Samuel Dishaw, Lidal Dror, Caitlin Fitchett, Daniel Fogal, Jens Gillessen, Bruno Guindon, Daniel Laurier, Samuel Montplaisir, Andrew Reisner, Rémi Tison and two anonymous referees for invaluable comments and suggestions. This research was financed by the Groupe de Recherche Interuniversitaire sur la Normativité (GRIN) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Grant #767-2016-1771).


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Université de MontréalMontrealCanada

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