It's OK to Make Mistakes: Against the Fixed Point Thesis


Field C (2019) It's OK to Make Mistakes: Against the Fixed Point Thesis. Episteme, 16 (2), pp. 175-185.

Can we make mistakes about what rationality requires? A natural answer is that we can, since it is a platitude that rational belief does not require truth; it is possible for a belief to be rational and mistaken, and this holds for any subject matter at all. However, the platitude causes trouble when applied to rationality itself. The possibility of rational mistakes about what rationality requires generates a puzzle. When combined with two further plausible claims – the enkratic principle, and the claim that rational requirements apply universally – we get the result that rationality generates inconsistent requirements. One popular and attractive solution to the puzzle denies that it is possible to make rational mistakes about what rationality requires. I show why (contra Titelbaum (2015b), and Littlejohn (2015)) this solution is doomed to fail.

Episteme: Volume 16, Issue 2

FundersArts and Humanities Research Council
Publication date30/06/2019
Publication date online30/08/2017
Date accepted by journal17/05/2017
PublisherCambridge University Press (CUP)