Journal Article

Focused Correlation and Confirmation

Gregory Wheeler

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 60, issue 1, pages 79-100
Published in print March 2009 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online January 2009 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI:
Focused Correlation and Confirmation

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This essay presents results about a deviation from independence measure called focused correlation. This measure explicates the formal relationship between probabilistic dependence of an evidence set and the incremental confirmation of a hypothesis, resolves a basic question underlying Peter Klein and Ted Warfield's ‘truth-conduciveness’ problem for Bayesian coherentism, and provides a qualified rebuttal to Erik Olsson's claim that there is no informative link between correlation and confirmation. The generality of the result is compared to recent programs in Bayesian epistemology that attempt to link correlation and confirmation by utilizing a conditional evidential independence condition. Several properties of focused correlation are also highlighted.


Correlation Measures


Standard covariance and correlation measures


The Wayne–Shogenji measure


Interpreting correlation measures


Correlation and evidential independence

Focused Correlation



Journal Article.  6023 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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