A Negative Answer

Erik J. Olsson

in Against Coherence

Published in print April 2005 | ISBN: 9780199279999
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602665 | DOI:
A Negative Answer

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A sustained argument is given showing that more coherence does not imply a higher likelihood of truth even in fortunate circumstances (independence, individual credibility) and in a ceteris paribus sense. The argument makes critical use of an observation about the effect of prior on posterior probability. This point draws on a discussion of L. Jonathan Cohen. The chapter ends with an impossibility theorem to the effect that no coherence measure can be both useful and truth conducive. The conclusion is drawn that coherence is itself an incoherent notion.

Keywords: ceteris paribus; L. Jonathan Cohen; impossibility theorem; independence; individual credibility; posterior probability; prior probability

Chapter.  11484 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Metaphysics

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