References in:
Coherence, Probability and Explanation
Erkenntnis 79 (4):821828 (2014)
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Let E be a set of n propositions E1, ..., En. We seek a probabilistic measure C(E) of the ‘degree of coherence’ of E. Intuitively, we want C to be a quantitative, probabilistic generalization of the (deductive) logical coherence of E. So, in particular, we require C to satisfy the following.. 

Several forms of symmetry in degrees of evidential support areconsidered. Some of these symmetries are shown not to hold in general. This has implications for the adequacy of many measures of degree ofevidential support that have been proposed and defended in the philosophical literature. 

Some philosophers, most notably Hempel and Salmon, have tried to reduce explanation to probability by proposing analyses of explanation in probabilistic terms. Hempel claims, roughly, that a hypothesis H explains a datum D if and only if the conditional probability P is close to 1. It is well known that such an account fails in cases where H is irrelevant for D. Even though it is highly likely that Tom will not become pregnant, given that he regularly takes his wife’s (...) 

In this pathbreaking work, Paul Thagard draws on history and philosophy of science, cognitive psychology, and the field of artificial intelligence to develop a ... 





Toward theory a homuncular of believing For years and years, philosophers took thoughts and beliefs to be modifications of incorporeal Cartesian egos. ... 



Epistemologists and philosophers of science have often attempted to express formally the impact of a piece of evidence on the credibility of a hypothesis. In this paper we will focus on the Bayesian approach to evidential support. We will propose a new formal treatment of the notion of degree of confirmation and we will argue that it overcomes some limitations of the currently available approaches on two grounds: (i) a theoretical analysis of the confirmation relation seen as an extension of (...) 

I show that the two most devastating objections to Shogenji's formal account of coherence necessarily involve information sets of cardinality . Given this, I surmise that the problem with Shogenji's measure has more to do with his means of generalizing the measure than with the measure itself. I defend this claim by offering an alternative generalization of Shogenji's measure. This alternative retains the intuitive merits of the original measure while avoiding both of the relevant problems that befall it. In the (...) 

It is shown that the probabilistic theories of coherence proposed up to now produce a number of counterintuitive results. The last section provides some reasons for believing that no probabilistic measure will ever be able to adequately capture coherence. First, there can be no function whose arguments are nothing but tuples of probabilities, and which assigns different values to pairs of propositions {A, B} and {A, C} if A implies both B and C, or their negations, and if P(B)=P(C). But (...) 

This article introduces and defends a probabilistic measure of the explanatory power that a particular explanans has over its explanandum. To this end, we propose several intuitive, formal conditions of adequacy for an account of explanatory power. Then, we show that these conditions are uniquely satisfied by one particular probabilistic function. We proceed to strengthen the case for this measure of explanatory power by proving several theorems, all of which show that this measure neatly corresponds to our explanatory intuitions. Finally, (...) 

















This paper aims to contribute to our understanding of the notion of coherence by explicating in probabilistic terms, step by step, what seem to be our most basic intuitions about that notion, to wit, that coherence is a matter of hanging or fitting together, and that coherence is a matter of degree. A qualitative theory of coherence will serve as a stepping stone to formulate a set of quantitative measures of coherence, each of which seems to capture well the aforementioned (...) 

In this paper I consider whether there is a measure of coherence that could be rightly claimed to generalize the notion of logical equivalence. I show that Fitelson’s (2003) proposal to that effect encounters some serious difficulties. Furthermore, there is reason to believe that no mutualsupport measure could ever be suitable for the formalization of coherence as generalized logical equivalence. Instead, it appears that the only plausible candidate for such a measure is one of relative overlap. The measure I propose (...) 





