Contemporary academic studies of the term further characterize its usage in philosophical discourses. In "Aporetics: Rational Deliberation in the Face of Inconsistency" (2009), Nicholas Rescher is concerned with the methods in which an aporia, or "apory", is intellectually processed and resolved. In the Preface, Rescher identifies the work as an attempt to "synthesize and systematize an aporetic procedure for dealing with information overload (of 'cognitive dissonance', as it is sometimes called)" (ix). The text is also useful in that it provides a more precise (although specialized) definition of the concept: "any cognitive situation in which the threat of inconsistency confronts us" (1). Rescher further introduces his specific study of the apory by qualifying the term as "a group of individually plausible but collectively incompatible theses", a designation he illustrates with the following syllogism or "cluster of contentions":
Fourth, Bernie is not only asked to suppress data about catalyst B but also to alter the other data. That is, he is asked to lie. Alex no doubt sees this as a lie intended to "protect the truth," since he believes that catalyst A really is best. However, as Sissela Bok convincingly argues, even lies of this sort are ethically questionable (Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life). She points out that we have a tendency to overestimate the good that comes from lying and to underestimate the harm that comes from lying. Individually and collectively lies do much to undermine trust. Also, by deceiving others, lies often lead people to make decisions they would not make if they had more reliable information, thus undermining their autonomy. Bok concludes that we should lie only after looking carefully to see if any alternatives preferable to lying are available.