Advertisement

Erkenntnis

, Volume 63, Issue 3, pp 335–360 | Cite as

Against Probabilistic Measures of Coherence

  • Mark Siebel
Article

Abstract

It is shown that the probabilistic theories of coherence proposed up to now produce a number of counter-intuitive results. The last section provides some reasons for believing that no probabilistic measure will ever be able to adequately capture coherence. First, there can be no function whose arguments are nothing but tuples of probabilities, and which assigns different values to pairs of propositions {A, B} and {A, C} if A implies both B and C, or their negations, and if P(B)=P(C). But such sets may indeed differ in their degree of coherence. Second, coherence is sensitive to explanatory relations between the propositions in question. Explanation, however, can hardly be captured solely in terms of probability.

Keywords

Probabilistic Measure Probabilistic Theory Explanatory Relation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Achinstein, P. 1983The Nature of ExplanationOxford University PressNew York and OxfordGoogle Scholar
  2. Akiba, K. 2000‘Shogenji’s Probabilistic Measure of Coherence Is Incoherent’Analysis60356359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bartelborth, T. 1996Begründungsstrategien. Ein Weg durch die analytische ErkenntnistheorieAkademie-VerlagBerlinGoogle Scholar
  4. BonJour, L. 1985The Structure of Empirical KnowledgeHarvard University PressCambridge/Mass. and LondonGoogle Scholar
  5. Bovens, L., Hartmann, S. 2003a‘Solving the Riddle of Coherence’Mind112601633CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bovens, L., Hartmann, S. 2003bBayesian EpistemologyOxford University PressNew York and OxfordGoogle Scholar
  7. Douven, I. and W. Meijs: 2006, ‘Measuring Coherence’, Synthese, to appearGoogle Scholar
  8. Eells, E., Fitelson, B. 2002‘Symmetries and Asymmetries in Evidential Support’Philosophical Studies107129142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fitelson, B. 1999‘The Plurality of Bayesian Measures of Confirmation and the Problem of Measure Sensitivity’Philosophy of Science66 362378Google Scholar
  10. Fitelson, B.: 2001, Studies in Bayesian Confirmation Theory, Ph.D. thesis, University of Wisconsin at Madison. Online: http://fitelson.org/thesis.pdf
  11. Fitelson, B. 2003‘A Probabilistic Theory of Coherence’Analysis63194199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fitelson, B.: 2004, ‘Two Technical Corrections to My Coherence Measure’, http://fitelson.org/coherence2.pdf
  13. Hempel, C. G.: 1965, ‘Aspects of Scientific Explanation’, in Aspects of Scientific Explanation and Other Essays in the Philosophy of Science, The Free Press, New York and London, 331–496Google Scholar
  14. Kemeny, J., Oppenheim, P. 1952‘Degrees of Factual Support’Philosophy of Science19307324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kyburg, H. E.,Jr. 1983‘Recent Work in Inductive Logic’Machan, T.Lucey, K. eds. Recent Work in PhilosophyRowman and AllanheldTotowa/NJ87150Google Scholar
  16. Moretti, L. and K. Akiba: 2006, ‘Probabilistic Measures of Coherence and the Problem of Belief Individuation’, Synthese, to appearGoogle Scholar
  17. Lewis, C. I. 1946An Analysis of Knowledge and ValuationOpen CourtChicagoGoogle Scholar
  18. Olsson, E. 2002‘What is the Problem of Coherence and Truth’The Journal of Philosophy94246272Google Scholar
  19. Salmon, W. C. 1970‘Statistical Explanation’Colodny, R. G. eds. The Nature and Function of Scientific TheoriesUniversity of Pittsburgh PressPittsburgh173231Google Scholar
  20. Shogenji, T. 1999‘Is Coherence Truth Conducive?’Analysis59338345CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Shogenji, T. 2001‘Reply to Akiba on the Probabilistic Measure of Coherence’Analysis61147150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Siebel, M. 2004‘On Fitelson’s Measure of Coherence’Analysis64189190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Siebel, M.: 2005, ‘Thagard’s Measure of Coherence: Corrected and Compared with Probabilistic Accounts’, submitted to syntheseGoogle Scholar
  24. Siebel, M. and W. Wolff: 2005, ‘Equivalent Testimonies as a Touchstone of Coherence Measures’, manuscriptGoogle Scholar
  25. Thagard, P. 1992Conceptual RevolutionsPrinceton University PressPrincetonGoogle Scholar
  26. Thagard, P., Verbeurgt, K. 1998‘Coherence as Constraint Satisfaction’Cognitive Science22124CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Siebel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniveristy of HamburgHambergGermany

Personalised recommendations