Against Coherence: Truth, Probability, and Justification by Erik J. Olsson

By Erik J. Olsson

It's tempting to imagine that, if a person's ideals are coherent, also they are more likely to be actual. This fact conduciveness declare is the cornerstone of the preferred coherence idea of data and justification. Erik Olsson's new ebook is the main broad and designated examine of coherence and possible fact so far. surroundings new criteria of precision and readability, Olsson argues that the worth of coherence has been broadly overvalued. Provocative and readable, opposed to Coherence will make stimulating interpreting for epistemologists and someone with a major curiosity truthfully.

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There are a number of possibilities here. One could hold, for instance, that our beliefs, memories, or whatever are individually credible a priori. We will encounter this contention in the works of Lewis and Coady. Another possibility would be to argue that Huemer’s model is inadequate as a model of beliefs, memories, etc. This type of (reconstructed) response is actually implicit in all three theories that I will scrutinize in the rest of this part of the book: in Lewis’s, in BonJour’s, and in Coady’s.

First of all, we will make two independence assumptions. In particular, we will assume that the reports are independent conditional on the truth as well as on the falsity of the hypothesis H, that is to say, P(E2/E1,H ) ¼ P(E2/H ) and PðE2 =E1 , :HÞ ¼ PðE2 =:HÞ. It follows that P(E1,E2/H ) ¼ P(E1/H )P(E2/H ) and PðE1 , E2 =:HÞ ¼ PðE1 =:HÞPðE2 =:HÞ. Second, we will suppose that Smith and Jones are equally credible individually. Letting i denote the reports’ initial credibility, this amounts to assuming i ¼ P(E1/H ) ¼ P(E2/H ).

It is my number that is being displayed there on the screen; there is no question about it. And yet I also know that before the event occurred it was extremely improbable that my ticket should win. If BonJour’s second criterion were correct, my believing that my ticket has won should reduce the coherence of my belief system. But pace BonJour this is clearly counter-intuitive. It is absurd to think that lottery winners are generally slightly incoherent in believing that they have won—even if their belief relies on absolutely reliable 16 does coherence imply truth?

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