Incoherence and Irrationality

Donald Davidson

in Problems of Rationality

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780198237549
Published online August 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601378 | DOI:
Incoherence and Irrationality

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Continues the theme of the preceding chapter, inquiring further into the possibility of irrational thought and action, judged against a background that stipulates large‐scale rationality as a necessary condition for both interpretability and possession of a mind. Argues that, in order to remove the paradoxes of irrationality, it is not necessary to regard judgements of irrationality as subjective; rather, a more holistic approach, which holds that irrationality is made possible by the fact that agents cannot fail to comport most of the time with the basic norms of rationality, is required. Furthermore, the view of the mind that makes synchronic inconsistency seem paradoxical, namely, one that implies that all beliefs, desires, intentions, and principles of the agent that creates the inconsistency are present and in operation at once, does not seem to be tenable.

Keywords: action; beliefs; desires; inconsistency; interpretation; irrationality; mind; rationality; thought

Chapter.  4490 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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