Coherence as an ideal of rationality

Synthese 109 (2):175 - 216 (1996)
Probabilistic coherence is not an absolute requirement of rationality; nevertheless, it is an ideal of rationality with substantive normative import. An idealized rational agent who avoided making implicit logical errors in forming his preferences would be coherent. In response to the challenge, recently made by epistemologists such as Foley and Plantinga, that appeals to ideal rationality render probabilism either irrelevant or implausible, I argue that idealized requirements can be normatively relevant even when the ideals are unattainable, so long as they define a structure that links imperfect and perfect rationality in a way that enables us to make sense of the notion of better approximations to the ideal. I then analyze the notion of approximation to the ideal of coherence by developing a generalized theory of belief functions that allows for incoherence, and showing how such belief functions can be ordered with regard to greater or lesser coherence.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF00413767
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 21,439
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 25 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

44 ( #97,964 of 1,911,647 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #322,162 of 1,911,647 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.