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Keith Lehrer

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198248507

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198248507.001.0001

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Reason and Consistency

Reason and Consistency

(p.148) 6 Reason and Consistency

Keith Lehrer

Oxford University Press

It may be reasonable for a person to accept each statement in an inconsistent set because it is reasonable, though incorrect, for him to think the set of statements is consistent. Moreover, it may even be reasonable for a person to accept a set of statements he is certain is inconsistent. A person who has discovered that he accepts an inconsistent set of statements may reasonably continue to do so when, for lack of time or insignt, he sees no satisfactory way of extricating himself. Such reflections put consistency in a better light than is customary. The conviction remains: there is something unreasonable about inconsistency. The question is when inconsistency is unreasonable and why it is so, what possibly caused it.

Keywords:   consistency, reason, inconsistency, acceptance, ideal rationality, paradox, minimax, risk, expected value, personal preference

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