Journal of Logic, Language and Information

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 143–163 | Cite as

Making Beliefs Coherentl. The Subtraction and Addition Strategies.

  • Erick J. Olsson


The notion of epistemic coherence is interpreted as involving not only consistency but also stability. The problem how to consolidate a belief system, i.e., revise it so that it becomes coherent, is studied axiomatically as well as in terms of set-theoretical constructions. Representation theorems are given for subtractive consolidation (where coherence is obtained by deleting beliefs) and additive consolidation (where coherence is obtained by adding beliefs).

Belief revision consolidation coherence stability 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alchourron, C.E., Gärdenfors, P., and Makinson, D., 1985, “On the logic of theory change: Partial meet contraction and revision functions,” Journal of Symbolic Logic 50, 510–530.Google Scholar
  2. Bonjour, L., 1985, The Structure of Empirical Knowledge, Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Doyle, J., 1992, “Reason maintenance and belief revision: Foundations versus coherence theories,” pp. 29–51 in Belief Revision, P. Gärdenfors, ed., Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Galliers, J.R., 1992, “Autonomous belief revision and communication,” pp. 220–246 in Belief Revision, P. Gärdenfors, ed., Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Gärdenfors, P., 1988, Knowledge in Flux. Modeling the Dynamics of Epistemic States, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  6. Gärdenfors, P., 1990, “The dynamics of belief systems: Foundations vs. coherence theories,” Revue International de Philosophie 44, 24–46.Google Scholar
  7. Hansson, S.O., 1994, “Taking belief bases seriously,” pp. 13–28 in Logic and Philosophy of Science in Uppsala, D. Prawitz and D. Westerstähl, eds., Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishes.Google Scholar
  8. Hansson, S.O., 1996a, “Knowledge-level analysis of belief base operations,” Artificial Intelligence 82, 215–235.Google Scholar
  9. Hansson, S.O., 1996b, “Extending Rabinowicz account of stability,” pp. 150–157 in Odds and Ends: Philosophical Essays Dedicated to Wlodek Rabinowicz on the Occasion of His Fiftieth Birthday, S. Lindström, R. Sliwinski, and J. Österberg, eds., Uppsala: Department of Philosophy.Google Scholar
  10. Hansson, S.O. and Olsson, E.J., 1996, “Providing foundations for coherentism,” manuscript.Google Scholar
  11. Harman, G., 1986, Change in View. Principles of Reasoning, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  12. Klein, P. and Warfield, T.A., 1994, “What price coherence?,” Analysis 54, 129–132.Google Scholar
  13. Lehrer, K., 1990, The Theory of Knowledge, London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  14. Olsson, E.J., “A coherence Interpretation of semirevision,” Theoria, to appear.Google Scholar
  15. Rabinowicz, W., 1989, “Stable and retrievable options,” Philosophy of Science 56, 624–641.Google Scholar
  16. Rabinowicz, W., 1995, “Stable revision, or is preservation worth preserving,” pp. 101–129 in Logic, Action, and Information — Essays on Logic in Philosophy and Artificial Intelligence, A. Fuhrmann and H. Rott, eds., Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  17. Rescher, N., 1973, The Coherence Theory of Truth, Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  18. Rescher, N., 1979, Cognitive Systematization, Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erick J. Olsson
    • 1
  1. 1.Fachgruppe PhilosophieUniversität KonstanzKonstanzGermany

Personalised recommendations