Bayes Factors All the Way: Toward a New View of Coherence and Truth

Theoria 82 (4):329-350 (2016)

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 shift focus to “coherence for” an hypothesis – that is, to the definition and analysis of cumulative case arguments in which a body of evidence supports some hypothesis that is not restricted to the conjunction of the contents of reports. Such a shift of focus will be valuable for approaching issues such as the problem of the external world which have interested Bayesian coherentists all along.
Keywords Bayesianism  philosophy of science  philosophy of logic  belief revision  epistemology  coherence
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DOI 10.1111/theo.12102
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References found in this work BETA

Is Coherence Truth Conducive?Tomoji Shogenji - 1999 - Analysis 59 (4):338–345.
Confirmation, Heuristics, and Explanatory Reasoning.Timothy McGrew - 2003 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (4):553-567.
A Bayesian Account of the Virtue of Unification.Wayne Myrvold - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (2):399-423.
Focused Correlation and Confirmation.Gregory Wheeler - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (1):79-100.

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