Philosophical Studies

, Volume 141, Issue 3, pp 323–331

On the alleged impossibility of Bayesian Coherentism



The success of Bovens and Hartmann’s recent “impossibility result” against Bayesian Coherentism relies upon the adoption of a specific set of ceteris paribus conditions. In this paper, I argue that these conditions are not clearly appropriate; certain proposed coherence measures motivate different such conditions and also call for the rejection of at least one of Bovens and Hartmann’s conditions. I show that there exist sets of intuitively plausible ceteris paribus conditions that allow one to sidestep the impossibility result. This shifts the debate from the merits of the impossibility result itself to the underlying choice of ceteris paribus conditions.


Bayesianism Bayesian Coherentism Coherence Impossibility result Ceteris paribus conditions Coherence measures 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.History & Philosophy of ScienceUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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