David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Psychology 11 (4):405 – 422 (1998)
This paper explores the ethical relevance of a precise new characterization of coherence as maximization of satisfaction of positive and negative constraints. A coherence problem can be stated by specifying a set of elements to be accepted or rejected along with sets of positive and negative constraints that incline pairs of elements to be accepted together or rejected together. Computationally tractable and psychologically plausible algorithms are available for determining the acceptance and rejection of elements in a way that reliably approximates coherence maximization. This paper shows how justification of ethical principles and particular judgments can be accomplished by taking into account deductive, explanatory, analogical, and deliberative coherence.
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