Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Coherentism, Logic, Inconsistency, Lottery Paradox, Preface Paradox

Major Advisor

Jc Beall

Associate Advisor

Branden Fitelson

Associate Advisor

Michael Lynch

Associate Advisor

Marcus Rossberg

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


Abstract. Are there formal coherence constraints governing categorical belief? If so, what are they? Those who answer the first question affirmatively typically hold that categorical belief is governed by logical consistency and closure principles. However, such principles are difficult to maintain in the face of the epistemic inconsistency paradoxes.The debate on this issue usually revolves around the question of whether deductive logic can be afforded a significant enough role in guiding rational inquiry. We shall take up these questions from a different angle. Various substantive theories of justified belief have been thought to carry commitments to logical consistency and closure principles (e.g., coherence theories of epistemic justification, permissibility theories of justification, etc... ). On the one hand, such commitments about the nature of justified belief might explain why we should be committed to consistency and closure principles, or they might be taken as a reductio of the theories in question. Our primary aim will be to determine what, if any, formal coherence requirements can be derived from plausible substantive commitments regarding the nature of justified beliefs.