Erkenntnis 63 (3):317-333 (2005)

Tomoji Shogenji
Rhode Island College
This paper examines the role of coherence of evidence in what I call the non-dynamic model of confirmation. It appears that other things being equal, a higher degree of coherence among pieces of evidence raises to a higher degree the probability of the proposition they support. I argue against this view on the basis of three related observations. First, we should be able to assess the impact of coherence on any hypothesis of interest the evidence supports. Second, the impact of coherence among the pieces of evidence can be different on different hypotheses of interest they support. Third, when we assess the impact of coherence on a hypothesis of interest, other conditions that should be held equal for a fair assessment include the degrees of individual support which the propositions directly supported by the respective pieces of evidence provide for the hypothesis. Once we take these points into consideration, the impression that coherence of evidence plays a positive role in confirmation dissipates. In some cases it can be shown that other things being equal, a higher degree of coherence among the pieces of evidence reduces the degree of confirmation for the hypothesis they support.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Ethics   Logic   Ontology
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Reprint years 2006
DOI 10.1007/s10670-005-4001-5
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References found in this work BETA

Bayesian Epistemology.Luc Bovens & Stephan Hartmann - 2003 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Conceptual Revolutions.Paul THAGARD - 1992 - Princeton University Press.
Coherence in Thought and Action (M. Amini).P. Thagard - 2000 - Philosophical Books 43 (2):136-140.
Is Coherence Truth Conducive?Tomoji Shogenji - 1999 - Analysis 59 (4):338–345.
What is the Problem of Coherence and Truth?Erik J. Olsson - 2002 - Journal of Philosophy 99 (5):246-272.

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Citations of this work BETA

Towards a Grammar of Bayesian Coherentism.Michael Schippers - 2015 - Studia Logica 103 (5):955-984.
Coherentism, Truth, and Witness Agreement.William A. Roche - 2010 - Acta Analytica 25 (2):243-257.
Incoherence and Inconsistency.Michael Schippers - 2014 - Review of Symbolic Logic 7 (3):511-528.

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