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Against requirements of rationality

By Anthony W. Price


Are inferences, theoretical and practical, subject to requirements of rationality? If so, are these of the form 'if … ought …' or 'ought … if …'? If the latter, how are we to understand the 'if'? It seems that, in all cases, we get unintuitive implications (often involving bootstrapping) if 'ought' connotes having reason. It is difficult to formulate such requirements, and obscure what they explain. There might also be a requirement forbidding self-contradiction (not that one's current beliefs can be consciously contradictory). It is a good question whether self-contradiction constitutes, or evidences, irrationality; but talk of a rational requirement causes trouble

Topics: phil
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.bbk.ac.uk.oai2:2742

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