Ways in which coherence is confirmation conducive

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Abstract

Recent works in epistemology show that the claim that coherence is truth conducive – in the sense that, given suitable ceteris paribus conditions, more coherent sets of statements are always more probable – is dubious and possibly false. From this, it does not follows that coherence is a useless notion in epistemology and philosophy of science. Dietrich and Moretti (Philosophy of science 72(3): 403–424, 2005) have proposed a formal of account of how coherence is confirmation conducive—that is, of how the coherence of a set of statements facilitates the confirmation of such statements. This account is grounded in two confirmation transmission properties that are satisfied by some of the measures of coherence recently proposed in the literature. These properties explicate everyday and scientific uses of coherence. In his paper, I review the main findings of Dietrich and Moretti (2005) and define two evidence-gathering properties that are satisfied by the same measures of coherence and constitute further ways in which coherence is confirmation conducive. At least one of these properties vindicates important applications of the notion of coherence in everyday life and in science.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-319
Number of pages11
JournalSynthese
Volume157
Issue number3
Early online date25 Oct 2006
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007

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Keywords

  • coherence
  • coherence measures
  • coherentism
  • confirmation
  • confirmation transmission
  • Dietrich
  • Fitelson
  • Moretti
  • Olsson
  • total evidence

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