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

Against Probabilistic Measures of Coherence

  • Mark Siebel


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.


Probabilistic Measure Probabilistic Theory Explanatory Relation 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

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

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