87 found
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  1.  75
    Erik J. Olsson (2005). Against Coherence: Truth, Probability, and Justification. Oxford University Press.
    It is tempting to think that, if a person's beliefs are coherent, they are also likely to be true. This truth conduciveness claim is the cornerstone of the popular coherence theory of knowledge and justification. Erik Olsson's new book is the most extensive and detailed study of coherence and probable truth to date. Setting new standards of precision and clarity, Olsson argues that the value of coherence has been widely overestimated. Provocative and readable, Against Coherence will make stimulating reading for (...)
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  2. Alvin I. Goldman & Erik J. Olsson (2009). ``Reliabilism and the Value of Knowledge&Quot. In A. Haddock, A. Millar & D. H. Pritchard (eds.), Epistemic Value. Oxford: Oxford University Press 19--41.
    It is a widely accepted doctrine in epistemology that knowledge has greater value than mere true belief. But although epistemologists regularly pay homage to this doctrine, evidence for it is shaky. Is it based on evidence that ordinary people on the street make evaluative comparisons of knowledge and true belief, and consistently rate the former ahead of the latter? Do they reveal such a preference by some sort of persistent choice behavior? Neither of these scenarios is observed. Rather, epistemologists come (...)
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  3.  81
    Erik J. Olsson (2002). What is the Problem of Coherence and Truth? Journal of Philosophy 99 (5):246-272.
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  4.  41
    Erik J. Olsson (2007). Reliabilism, Stability, and the Value of Knowledge. American Philosophical Quarterly 44 (4):343 - 355.
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  5.  11
    Erik J. Olsson (2011). A Simulation Approach to Veritistic Social Epistemology. Episteme 8 (2):127-143.
    In a seminal book, Alvin I. Goldman outlines a theory for how to evaluate social practices with respect to their , i.e., their tendency to promote the acquisition of true beliefs (and impede the acquisition of false beliefs) in society. In the same work, Goldman raises a number of serious worries for his account. Two of them concern the possibility of determining the veritistic value of a practice in a concrete case because (1) we often don't know what beliefs are (...)
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  6.  74
    Erik J. Olsson (2001). Why Coherence is Not Truth-Conducive. Analysis 61 (271):236–241.
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  7.  30
    Luc Bovens & Erik J. Olsson (2002). Believing More, Risking Less: On Coherence, Truth and Non-Trivial Extensions. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 57 (2):137 - 150.
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  8.  23
    Erik J. Olsson (2005). The Impossibility of Coherence. Erkenntnis 63 (3):387 - 412.
    There is an emerging consensus in the literature on probabilistic coherence that such coherence cannot be truth conducive unless the information sources providing the cohering information are individually credible and collectively independent. Furthermore, coherence can at best be truth conducive in a ceteris paribus sense. Bovens and Hartmann have argued that there cannot be any measure of coherence that is truth conducive even in this very weak sense. In this paper, I give an alternative impossibility proof. I provide a relatively (...)
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  9.  25
    Erik J. Olsson & David Westlund (2006). On the Role of the Research Agenda in Epistemic Change. Erkenntnis 65 (2):165 - 183.
    The standard way of representing an epistemic state in formal philosophy is in terms of a set of sentences, corresponding to the agent’s beliefs, and an ordering of those sentences, reflecting how well entrenched they are in the agent’s epistemic state. We argue that this wide-spread representational view – a view that we identify as a “Quinean dogma” – is incapable of making certain crucial distinctions. We propose, as a remedy, that any adequate representation of epistemic states must also include (...)
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  10.  67
    Erik J. Olsson & Stefan Schubert (2007). Reliability Conducive Measures of Coherence. Synthese 157 (3):297 - 308.
    A measure of coherence is said to be truth conducive if and only if a higher degree of coherence (as measured) results in a higher likelihood of truth. Recent impossibility results strongly indicate that there are no (non-trivial) probabilistic coherence measures that are truth conducive. Indeed, this holds even if truth conduciveness is understood in a weak ceteris paribus sense (Bovens & Hartmann, 2003, Bayesian epistemology. New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press; Olsson, 2005, Against coherence: Truth probability and justification. Oxford: (...)
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  11.  22
    Erik J. Olsson (2002). Corroborating Testimony, Probability and Surprise. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 53 (2):273-288.
    Jonathan Cohen has claimed that in cases of witness agreement there is an inverse relationship between the prior probability and the posterior probability of what is being agreed: the posterior rises as the prior falls. As is demonstrated in this paper, this contention is not generally valid. In fact, in the most straightforward case exactly the opposite is true: a lower prior also means a lower posterior. This notwithstanding, there is a grain of truth to what Cohen is saying, as (...)
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  12.  71
    Stefan Schubert & Erik J. Olsson (2012). On the Coherence of Higher-Order Beliefs. Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (1):112-135.
    Let us by ‘first-order beliefs’ mean beliefs about the world, such as the belief that it will rain tomorrow, and by ‘second-order beliefs’ let us mean beliefs about the reliability of first-order, belief-forming processes. In formal epistemology, coherence has been studied, with much ingenuity and precision, for sets of first-order beliefs. However, to the best of our knowledge, sets including second-order beliefs have not yet received serious attention in that literature. In informal epistemology, by contrast, sets of the latter kind (...)
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  13.  55
    Erik J. Olsson & Aron Vallinder (2013). Norms of Assertion and Communication in Social Networks. Synthese 190 (13):2557-2571.
    Epistemologists can be divided into two camps: those who think that nothing short of certainty or (subjective) probability 1 can warrant assertion and those who disagree with this claim. This paper addressed this issue by inquiring into the problem of setting the probability threshold required for assertion in such a way that that the social epistemic good is maximized, where the latter is taken to be the veritistic value in the sense of Goldman (Knowledge in a social world, 1999). We (...)
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  14.  48
    Erik J. Olsson (2009). In Defense of the Conditional Probability Solution to the Swamping Problem. Grazer Philosophische Studien 79 (1):93-114.
    Knowledge is more valuable than mere true belief. Many authors contend, however, that reliabilism is incompatible with this item of common sense. If a belief is true, adding that it was reliably produced doesn't seem to make it more valuable. The value of reliability is swamped by the value of truth. In Goldman and Olsson (2009), two independent solutions to the problem were suggested. According to the conditional probability solution, reliabilist knowledge is more valuable in virtue of being a stronger (...)
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  15.  67
    Erik J. Olsson (2011). The Value of Knowledge. Philosophy Compass 6 (12):874-883.
    A problem occupying much contemporary epistemology is that of explaining why knowledge is more valuable than mere true belief. This paper provides an overview of this debate, starting with historical figures and early work. The contemporary debate in mainstream epistemology is then surveyed and some recent developments that deserve special attention are highlighted, including mounting doubts about the prospects for virtue epistemology to solve the value problem as well as renewed interest in classical and reliabilist‐externalist responses.
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  16.  40
    Sven Ove Hansson & Erik J. Olsson (1999). Providing Foundations for Coherentism. Erkenntnis 51 (2-3):243-265.
    We prove that four theses commonly associated with coherentism are incompatible with the representation of a belief state as a logically closed set of sentences. The result is applied to the conventional coherence interpretation of the AGM theory of belief revision, which appears not to be tenable. Our argument also counts against the coherentistic acceptability of a certain form of propositional holism. We argue that the problems arise as an effect of ignoring the distinction between derived and non-derived beliefs, and (...)
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  17.  72
    Erik J. Olsson (2008). Knowledge, Truth, and Bullshit: Reflections on Frankfurt. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 32 (1):94-110.
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  18.  8
    Erik J. Olsson (forthcoming). Coherence Theories of Epistemic Justification. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  19.  81
    Erik J. Olsson & Martin L. Jönsson (2011). Kinds of Learning and the Likelihood of Future True Beliefs: Reply to Jäger on Reliabilism and the Value Problem. Theoria 77 (3):214-222.
    We reply to Christoph Jäger's criticism of the conditional probability solution (CPS) to the value problem for reliabilism due to Goldman and Olsson (2009). We argue that while Jäger raises some legitimate concerns about the compatibility of CPS with externalist epistemology, his objections do not in the end reduce the plausibility of that solution.
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  20.  1
    Martin L. Jönsson, Ulrike Hahn & Erik J. Olsson (2015). The Kind of Group You Want to Belong To: Effects of Group Structure on Group Accuracy. Cognition 142:191-204.
    There has been much interest in group judgment and the so-called 'wisdom of crowds'. In many real world contexts, members of groups not only share a dependence on external sources of information, but they also communicate with one another, thus introducing correlations among their responses that can diminish collective accuracy. This has long been known, but it has-to date-not been examined to what extent different kinds of communication networks may give rise to systematically different effects on accuracy. We argue that (...)
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  21.  7
    Erik J. Olsson (2002). Corroborating Testimony and Ignorance: A Reply to Bovens, Fitelson, Hartmann and Snyder. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 53 (4):565-572.
    In an earlier paper, I objected to certain elements of L. Jonathan Cohen's account of corroborating testimony (Olsson [2002]). In their response to my article, Bovens, Fitelson, Hartmann and Snyder ([2002]) suggest some significant improvements of the probabilistic model which I used in assessing Cohen's theses and answer some additional questions which my study raised. More problematically, they also seek to defend Cohen against my criticism. I argue, in this reply, that their attempts in this direction are unsuccessful.
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  22.  21
    Igor Volzhanin, Ulrike Hahn, Martin Jönsson & Erik J. Olsson, Individual Belief Revision Dynamics in a Group Context.
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  23.  23
    Erik J. Olsson (forthcoming). Engel Vs. Rorty on Truth. Synthese:1-18.
    My concern in this paper is a debate between Pascal Engel and Richard Rorty documented in the book What’s the Use of Truth? Both Engel and Rorty problematize the natural suggestion that attaining truth is a goal of our inquiries. Where Rorty thinks this means that truth is not something we should aim for at all over and beyond justification, Engel maintains that truth still plays a distinct role in our intellectual and daily lives. Thus, the debate between Engel and (...)
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  24.  22
    Erik J. Olsson (1997). A Coherence Interpretation of Semi-Revision. Theoria 63 (1-2):105-134.
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  25.  7
    Erik J. Olsson, A Bayesian Simulation Model of Group Deliberation and Polarization.
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  26.  19
    Peter J. Collins, Ulrike Hahn, Ylva von Gerber & Erik J. Olsson, The Bi-Directional Relationship Between Source Characteristics and Message Content.
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  27.  13
    Erik J. Olsson, A Naturalistic Approach to the Generality Problem.
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  28.  28
    Carlo Proietti & Erik J. Olsson (2014). A DDL Approach to Pluralistic Ignorance and Collective Belief. Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (2-3):499-515.
    A group is in a state of pluralistic ignorance (PI) if, roughly speaking, every member of the group thinks that his or her belief or desire is different from the beliefs or desires of the other members of the group. PI has been invoked to explain many otherwise puzzling phenomena in social psychology. The main purpose of this article is to shed light on the nature of PI states – their structure, internal consistency and opacity – using the formal apparatus (...)
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  29.  12
    Erik J. Olsson, Coherentism in the Epistemology of Memory.
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  30.  31
    Erik J. Olsson (1997). Coherence and the Modularity of Mind. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 75 (3):404-11.
  31.  6
    Erik J. Olsson, Reliabilism as Explicating Knowledge: A Sketch of an Account.
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  32.  29
    Erik J. Olsson (2003). Avoiding Epistemic Hell: Levi on Pragmatism and Inconsistency. Synthese 135 (1):119 - 140.
    Isaac Levi has claimed that our reliance on the testimony of others, and on the testimony of the senses, commonly produces inconsistency in our set of full beliefs. This happens if what is reported is inconsistent with what we believe to be the case. Drawing on a conception of the role of beliefs in inquiry going back to Dewey, Levi has maintained that the inconsistent belief corpus is a state of ``epistemic hell'': it is useless as a basis for inquiry (...)
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  33.  38
    Erik J. Olsson (2011). Reply to Kvanvig on the Swamping Problem. Social Epistemology 25 (2):173 - 182.
    According to the so?called swamping problem, reliabilist knowledge is no more valuable than mere true belief. In a paper called ?Reliabilism and the value of knowledge? (in Epistemic value, edited by A. Haddock, A. Millar, and D. H. Pritchard, pp. 19?41. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), Alvin I. Goldman and myself proposed, among other things, a solution based on conditional probabilities. This approach, however, is heavily criticized by Jonathan L. Kvanvig in his paper ?The swamping problem redux: Pith and gist? (...)
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  34.  21
    Staffan Angere, Erik J. Olsson & Emmanuel Genot, Inquiry and Deliberation in Judicial Systems : The Problem of Jury Size.
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  35.  21
    Staffan Angere & Erik J. Olsson, Network Density and Group Competence in Scientific Communication.
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  36.  89
    Aron Vallinder & Erik J. Olsson (2013). Do Computer Simulations Support the Argument From Disagreement? Synthese 190 (8):1437-1454.
    According to the Argument from Disagreement (AD) widespread and persistent disagreement on ethical issues indicates that our moral opinions are not influenced by moral facts, either because there are no such facts or because there are such facts but they fail to influence our moral opinions. In an innovative paper, Gustafsson and Peterson (Synthese, published online 16 October, 2010) study the argument by means of computer simulation of opinion dynamics, relying on the well-known model of Hegselmann and Krause (J Artif (...)
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  37.  3
    Volker Halbach & Erik J. Olsson (1999). Coherence and Dynamics of Belief. Erkenntnis 50.
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  38.  17
    Erik J. Olsson, Bayesian Epistemology.
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  39.  16
    Erik J. Olsson, Answers to 5 Questions in Social Epistemology.
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  40.  16
    Erik J. Olsson (1999). Cohering With. Erkenntnis 50 (2-3):273 - 291.
    I argue that the analysis most capable of systematising our intuitions about coherence as a relation is one according to which a set of beliefs, A, coheres with another set, B, if and only if the set-theoretical union of A and B is a coherent set. The second problem I consider is the role of coherence in epistemic justification. I submit that there are severe problems pertaining to the idea, defended most prominently by Keith Lehrer, that justification amounts to coherence (...)
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  41.  15
    Erik J. Olsson, Barcan Marcus on Belief and Rationality.
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  42.  18
    Erik J. Olsson (2003). Belief Revision, Rational Choice and the Unity of Reason. Studia Logica 73 (2):219 - 240.
    Hans Rott has argued, most recently in his book Change, Choice and Inference, that certain formal correspondences between belief revision and rational choice have important philosophical implications, claiming that the former strongly indicate the unity of practical and theoretical reason as well as the primacy of practical reason. In this paper, I confront Rott's argument with three serious challenges. My conclusion is that, while Rott's work is indisputable as a formal achievement, the philosophical consequences he wants to draw are not (...)
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  43.  62
    Erik Carlson & Erik J. Olsson (2001). The Presumption of Nothingness. Ratio 14 (3):203–221.
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  44.  39
    Aron Vallinder & Erik J. Olsson (2014). Trust and the Value of Overconfidence: A Bayesian Perspective on Social Network Communication. Synthese 191 (9):1991-2007.
    The paper presents and defends a Bayesian theory of trust in social networks. In the first part of the paper, we provide justifications for the basic assumptions behind the model, and we give reasons for thinking that the model has plausible consequences for certain kinds of communication. In the second part of the paper we investigate the phenomenon of overconfidence. Many psychological studies have found that people think they are more reliable than they actually are. Using a simulation environment that (...)
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  45.  7
    Erik J. Olsson (2006). Levi and the Lottery. In Knowledge and Inquiry: Essays on the Pragmatism of Isaac Levi. Cambridge University Press
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  46.  11
    Erik J. Olsson (2007). Guest Editor’s Introduction. Synthese 157 (3):267-274.
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  47.  51
    Julien Dutant & Erik J. Olsson (2013). Is There a Statistical Solution to the Generality Problem? Erkenntnis 78 (6):1347-1365.
    This article is concerned with a statistical proposal due to James R. Beebe for how to solve the generality problem for process reliabilism. The proposal is highlighted by Alvin I. Goldman as an interesting candidate solution. However, Goldman raises the worry that the proposal may not always yield a determinate result. We address this worry by proving a dilemma: either the statistical approach does not yield a determinate result or it leads to trivialization, i.e. reliability collapses into truth (and anti-reliability (...)
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  48.  15
    Erik J. Olsson (ed.) (2006). Knowledge and Inquiry: Essays on the Pragmatism of Isaac Levi. Cambridge University Press.
    Isaac Levi, currently John Dewey Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, has explored the principles of American pragmatism in greater depth and more consistency than others before him. The result is a sophisticated and powerful philosophical system whose key elements stand in stark opposition not only to current mainstream epistemology, but also to the positions of other contemporary authors writing in the same pragmatist tradition. The essays in this timely volume, written by some of philosophy's finest scholars, contribute substantially to (...)
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  49.  15
    Erik J. Olsson, The Generality Problem Naturalized.
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  50.  7
    George Masterton, Erik J. Olsson & Staffan Angere, Linking as Voting : How the Condorcet Jury Theorem in Political Science is Relevant to Webometrics.
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