Coherence of the contents and the transmission of probabilistic support

Synthese 190 (13):2525-2545 (2013)
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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