Synthese

, Volume 190, Issue 13, pp 2525–2545

Coherence of the contents and the transmission of probabilistic support

Article

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.

Keywords

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

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy DepartmentRhode Island CollegeProvidenceUSA

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