A Graded Bayesian Coherence Notion

Erkenntnis 79 (4):843-869 (2014)

Abstract
Coherence is a key concept in many accounts of epistemic justification within ‘traditional’ analytic epistemology. Within formal epistemology, too, there is a substantial body of research on coherence measures. However, there has been surprisingly little interaction between the two bodies of literature. The reason is that the existing formal literature on coherence measure operates with a notion of belief system that is very different from—what we argue is—a natural Bayesian formalisation of the concept of belief system from traditional epistemology. Therefore, formal epistemology has so far only been concerned with one particular—arguably not even very natural—way of formalising coherence of belief systems; it has by no means refuted the viability of coherentism. In contrast to the existing literature, we formalise belief systems as families of assignments of (conditional) degrees of belief (which may be compatible with several subjective probability measures). Within this framework, we propose a Bayesian formalisation of the thrust of BonJour’s coherence concept in The structure of empirical knowledge (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1985), using a combination of Bayesian confirmation theory and basic graph theory. In excursions, we introduce graded notions for both logical and probabilistic consistency of belief systems—the latter being based on certain geometrical structures induced by probabilistic belief systems. For illustration, we reconsider BonJour’s “ravens” challenge (op. cit., p. 95f.). Finally, potential objections to our proposed formal coherence notion are explored
Keywords Epistemic justification  Coherentism (epistemology)  Coherence measure  Laurence BonJour  Bayesianism  Bayesian confirmation theory  Connectivity (graph theory)  Hausdorff measure
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s10670-013-9569-6
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 49,128
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

Bayesian Epistemology.Luc Bovens & Stephan Hartmann - 2003 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.

View all 51 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2013-11-09

Total views
39 ( #239,154 of 2,311,515 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #753,566 of 2,311,515 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature