Get Against Coherence: Truth, Probability, and Justification PDF


By Erik J. Olsson

ISBN-10: 0199279993

ISBN-13: 9780199279999

ISBN-10: 143562386X

ISBN-13: 9781435623866

It's tempting to imagine that, if a person's ideals are coherent, also they are prone to be real. This fact conduciveness declare is the cornerstone of the preferred coherence concept of data and justification. Erik Olsson's new e-book is the main vast and designated examine of coherence and possible fact to this point. surroundings new criteria of precision and readability, Olsson argues that the price of coherence has been broadly overvalued. Provocative and readable, opposed to Coherence will make stimulating examining for epistemologists and someone with a major curiosity honestly.

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Extra resources for Against Coherence: Truth, Probability, and Justification

Example text

In the Forbes case, for instance, the set of supposed facts asserted is not {‘Forbes did it’, ‘Forbes did it’} ¼ {‘Forbes did it’}, which is a singleton, but h‘Forbes did it’, ‘Forbes did it’i, which is not. Since the latter is not a singleton, Rescher’s Principle is not applicable. Applying Lewis’s congruence definition, moreover, gives exactly the desired result: assuming the one element of this ordered set as given premiss raises the probability of the other; indeed it raises it to 1. The latter fact can even be taken in support of ascribing to Lewis acceptance of (3): full agreement is not just coherent; it is very coherent.

As an effect of the increased probability of reliability, we also become more confident that what the reports say is true. Needless to say, none of this should be taken to imply that there is a need to revise the prior probability of the reliability hypothesis because of congruence. A low antecedent probability of reliability is consistent with a high posterior probability of reliability. Given no evidence, the chance that the reports are reliable may be low, but once the different reports come in, the probability of reliability may, in the light of their agreement, become much higher than it was before.

But does (2) really follow from Lewis’s definition of congruence? This is a surprisingly subtle matter. The difficulty concerns how exactly to conceive of the sets to which the concept of coherence is supposed to be applicable. Lewis suggests that the elements of those sets are ‘supposed facts asserted’. Which are the supposed facts asserted in the Forbes case? They are ‘Forbes did it’ as asserted by Smith and ‘Forbes did it’ as asserted by Jones. Hence, the set of supposed facts asserted is {‘Forbes did it’, ‘Forbes did it’}.

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Against Coherence: Truth, Probability, and Justification by Erik J. Olsson

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