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  1. Coherence and Common Causes: Against Relevance-Sensitive Measures of Coherence.Jakob Koscholke & Michael Schippers - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (3):771-785.
    Changing weather conditions and barometer changes usually coincide. Accordingly, the propositions that my barometer falls and that the weather conditions deteriorate are quite coherent—especially under the assumption that there is a drop in atmospheric pressure. Nevertheless, scenarios like these involving common causes turn out to be highly problematic for a prominent class of probabilistic coherence measures, namely, those explicating coherence based on the idea of relevance-sensitivity. In this article, we show that none of these measures accords with the intuition that (...)
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  • Causal Reasoning in Economics: A Selective Exploration of Semantic, Epistemic and Dynamical Aspects.François Claveau - unknown
    Economists reason causally. Like many other scientists, they aim at formulating justified causal claims about their object of study. This thesis contributes to our understanding of how causal reasoning proceeds in economics. By using the research on the causes of unemployment as a case study, three questions are adressed. What are the meanings of causal claims? How can a causal claim be adequately supported by evidence? How are causal beliefs affected by incoming facts? In the process of answering these semantic, (...)
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  • Coherence and Probability: A Probabilistic Account of Coherence.Roche William - 2013 - In M. Araszkiewicz & J. Savelka (eds.), Coherence: Insights from philosophy, jurisprudence and artificial intelligence. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 59-91.
    I develop a probabilistic account of coherence, and argue that at least in certain respects it is preferable to (at least some of) the main extant probabilistic accounts of coherence: (i) Igor Douven and Wouter Meijs’s account, (ii) Branden Fitelson’s account, (iii) Erik Olsson’s account, and (iv) Tomoji Shogenji’s account. Further, I relate the account to an important, but little discussed, problem for standard varieties of coherentism, viz., the “Problem of Justified Inconsistent Beliefs.”.
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  • On the Truth-Conduciveness of Coherence.William Roche - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S3):647-665.
    I argue that coherence is truth-conducive in that coherence implies an increase in the probability of truth. Central to my argument is a certain principle for transitivity in probabilistic support. I then address a question concerning the truth-conduciveness of coherence as it relates to (something else I argue for) the truth-conduciveness of consistency, and consider how the truth-conduciveness of coherence bears on coherentist theories of justification.
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  • Witness Agreement and the Truth-Conduciveness of Coherentist Justification.William Roche - 2012 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (1):151-169.
    Some recent work in formal epistemology shows that “witness agreement” by itself implies neither an increase in the probability of truth nor a high probability of truth—the witnesses need to have some “individual credibility.” It can seem that, from this formal epistemological result, it follows that coherentist justification (i.e., doxastic coherence) is not truth-conducive. I argue that this does not follow. Central to my argument is the thesis that, though coherentists deny that there can be noninferential justification, coherentists do not (...)
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  • Demystifying Dilation.Arthur Paul Pedersen & Gregory Wheeler - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (6):1305-1342.
    Dilation occurs when an interval probability estimate of some event E is properly included in the interval probability estimate of E conditional on every event F of some partition, which means that one’s initial estimate of E becomes less precise no matter how an experiment turns out. Critics maintain that dilation is a pathological feature of imprecise probability models, while others have thought the problem is with Bayesian updating. However, two points are often overlooked: (1) knowing that E is stochastically (...)
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  • Explaining the Limits of Olsson's Impossibility Result.Gregory Wheeler - 2012 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (1):136-150.
    In his groundbreaking book, Against Coherence (2005), Erik Olsson presents an ingenious impossibility theorem that appears to show that there is no informative relationship between probabilistic measures of coherence and higher likelihood of truth. Although Olsson's result provides an important insight into probabilistic models of epistemological coherence, the scope of his negative result is more limited than generally appreciated. The key issue is the role conditional independence conditions play within the witness testimony model Olsson uses to establish his result. Olsson (...)
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  • Probability and the Explanatory Virtues: Figure 1.Clark Glymour - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (3):591-604.
    Recent literature in philosophy of science has addressed purported notions of explanatory virtues—‘explanatory power’, ‘unification’, and ‘coherence’. In each case, a probabilistic relation between a theory and data is said to measure the power of an explanation, or degree of unification, or degree of coherence. This essay argues that the measures do not capture cases that are paradigms of scientific explanation, that the available psychological evidence indicates that the measures do not capture judgements of explanatory power, and, finally, that the (...)
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  • Coherence and Confirmation Through Causation.Gregory Wheeler & Richard Scheines - 2013 - Mind 122 (485):135-170.
    Coherentism maintains that coherent beliefs are more likely to be true than incoherent beliefs, and that coherent evidence provides more confirmation of a hypothesis when the evidence is made coherent by the explanation provided by that hypothesis. Although probabilistic models of credence ought to be well-suited to justifying such claims, negative results from Bayesian epistemology have suggested otherwise. In this essay we argue that the connection between coherence and confirmation should be understood as a relation mediated by the causal relationships (...)
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  • The Epistemic Value of Expert Autonomy.Finnur Dellsén - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    According to an influential Enlightenment ideal, one shouldn't rely epistemically on other people's say-so, at least not if one is in a position to evaluate the relevant evidence for oneself. However, in much recent work in social epistemology, we are urged to dispense with this ideal, which is seen as stemming from a misguided focus on isolated individuals to the exclusion of groups and communities. In this paper, I argue that that an emphasis on the social nature of inquiry should (...)
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  • Accounting for Dependence: Relative Consilience as a Correction Factor in Cumulative Case Arguments.Lydia McGrew - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (3):560-572.
    I propose a measure of dependence that relates a set of items of evidence to an hypothesis H and to H's negation. I dub this measure relative consilience and propose a method for using it as a correction factor for dependence among items of evidence. Using RC, I examine collusion and testimonial independence, the value of diverse evidence, and the strengthening of otherwise weak or non-existent cases. RC provides a valuable tool for formal epistemologists interested in analyzing cumulative case arguments.
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  • New Hope for Shogenji's Coherence Measure.Jonah N. Schupbach - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (1):125-142.
    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 (...)
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  • On the Evidential Import of Unification.Wayne C. Myrvold - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (1):92-114.
    This paper discusses two senses in which a hypothesis may be said to unify evidence. One is the ability of the hypothesis to increase the mutual information of a set of evidence statements; the other is the ability of the hypothesis to explain commonalities in observed phenomena by positing a common origin for them. On Bayesian updating, it is only mutual information unification that contributes to the incremental support of a hypothesis by the evidence unified. This poses a challenge for (...)
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  • Focused Correlation, Confirmation, and the Jigsaw Puzzle of Variable Evidence.Maximilian Schlosshauer & Gregory Wheeler - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (3):376-92.
    Focused correlation compares the degree of association within an evidence set to the degree of association in that evidence set given that some hypothesis is true. A difference between the confirmation lent to a hypothesis by one evidence set and the confirmation lent to that hypothesis by another evidence set is robustly tracked by a difference in focused correlations of those evidence sets on that hypothesis, provided that all the individual pieces of evidence are equally, positively relevant to that hypothesis. (...)
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  • The Problem of Coherence and Truth Redux.Michael Schippers - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (4):817-851.
    In “What price coherence?”, Klein and Warfield put forward a simple argument that triggered an extensive debate on the epistemic virtues of coherence. As is well-known, this debate yielded far-reaching impossibility results to the effect that coherence is not conducive to truth, even if construed in a ceteris paribus sense. A large part of the present paper is devoted to a re-evaluation of these results. As is argued, all explications of truth-conduciveness leave out an important aspect: while it might not (...)
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  • Keynes’s Coefficient of Dependence Revisited.Peter Brössel - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (3):521-553.
    Probabilistic dependence and independence are among the key concepts of Bayesian epistemology. This paper focuses on the study of one specific quantitative notion of probabilistic dependence. More specifically, section 1 introduces Keynes’s coefficient of dependence and shows how it is related to pivotal aspects of scientific reasoning such as confirmation, coherence, the explanatory and unificatory power of theories, and the diversity of evidence. The intimate connection between Keynes’s coefficient of dependence and scientific reasoning raises the question of how Keynes’s coefficient (...)
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  • The Independence Condition in the Variety-of-Evidence Thesis.François Claveau - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (1):94-118.
  • Bayes Factors All the Way: Toward a New View of Coherence and Truth.Lydia McGrew - 2016 - Theoria 82 (4):329-350.
    A focus on the conjunction of the contents of witness reports and on the coherence of their contents has had negative effects on the epistemic clarity of the Bayesian coherence literature. Whether or not increased coherence of witness reports is correlated with higher confirmation for some H depends upon the hypothesis in question and upon factors concerning the confirmation and independence of the reports, not directly on the positive relevance of the contents to each other. I suggest that Bayesians should (...)
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  • Coherence, Striking Agreement, and Reliability.Michael Schippers - 2014 - Synthese 191 (15):3661-3684.
    Striving for a probabilistic explication of coherence, scholars proposed a distinction between agreement and striking agreement. In this paper I argue that only the former should be considered a genuine concept of coherence. In a second step the relation between coherence and reliability is assessed. I show that it is possible to concur with common intuitions regarding the impact of coherence on reliability in various types of witness scenarios by means of an agreement measure of coherence. Highlighting the need to (...)
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