, Volume 156, Issue 3, pp 405–425

Measuring coherence

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11229-006-9131-z

Cite this article as:
Douven, I. & Meijs, W. Synthese (2007) 156: 405. doi:10.1007/s11229-006-9131-z


This paper aims to contribute to our understanding of the notion of coherence by explicating in probabilistic terms, step by step, what seem to be our most basic intuitions about that notion, to wit, that coherence is a matter of hanging or fitting together, and that coherence is a matter of degree. A qualitative theory of coherence will serve as a stepping stone to formulate a set of quantitative measures of coherence, each of which seems to capture well the aforementioned intuitions. Subsequently it will be argued that one of those measures does better than the others in light of some more specific intuitions about coherence. This measure will be defended against two seemingly obvious objections.


CoherenceProbabilityBayesian epistemology

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Department of PhilosophyErasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands