Coherence as Competence

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Being incoherent is often viewed as a paradigm kind of irrationality. Numerous authors attempt to explain the distinct-seeming failure of incoherence by positing a set of requirements of structural rationality. I argue that the notion of coherence that structural requirements are meant to capture is very slippery, and that intuitive judgments - in particular, a charge of a distinct, blatant kind of irrationality - are very imperfectly correlated with respecting the canon of structural requirements. I outline an alternative strategy for explaining our patterns of normative disapproval, one appealing to feasible dispositions to conform to substantive, non-structural norms. A wide range of paradigmatic cases of incoherence, I will argue, involve manifesting problematic dispositions, dispositions that manifest across a range of cases as blatant-seeming normative failures.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)453-476
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 611 Philosophy
  • Coherence
  • incoherence
  • structural coherence
  • structural rationality
  • requirements of structural rationality
  • dispositional evaluations
  • akrasia
  • means-ends coherence
  • transmission of oughts

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