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Coherence of the contents and the transmission of probabilistic support

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Abstract

This paper examines how coherence of the contents of evidence affects the transmission of probabilistic support from the evidence to the hypothesis. It is argued that coherence of the contents in the sense of the ratio of the positive intersection reduces the transmission of probabilistic support, though this negative impact of coherence may be offset by other aspects of the relations among the contents. It is argued further that there is no broader conception of coherence whose impact on the transmission of probabilistic support is never offset by other aspects of the relations among the contents. The paper also examines reasons for the contrary impression that coherence of the contents increases the transmission of probabilistic support, especially in the special case where the hypothesis to evaluate is the conjunction of the contents of evidence.

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Correspondence to Tomoji Shogenji.

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Shogenji, T. Coherence of the contents and the transmission of probabilistic support. Synthese 190, 2525–2545 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-011-0003-9

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Keywords

  • Coherence
  • Content of evidence
  • Diversity of evidence
  • Transmission
  • Probabilistic support
  • Impossibility result
  • Inseparability
  • Ceteris paribus conditions
  • Weak Bayesian coherentism