Get Against Coherence: Truth, Probability, and Justification PDF

By Erik J. Olsson

ISBN-10: 0199279993

ISBN-13: 9780199279999

ISBN-10: 143562386X

ISBN-13: 9781435623866

It really is tempting to imagine that, if a person's ideals are coherent, also they are more likely to be real. This fact conduciveness declare is the cornerstone of the preferred coherence thought of data and justification. Erik Olsson's new ebook is the main huge and distinct learn of coherence and possible fact up to now. environment new criteria of precision and readability, Olsson argues that the price of coherence has been greatly overvalued. Provocative and readable, opposed to Coherence will make stimulating analyzing for epistemologists and someone with a major curiosity truthfully.

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Additional info for Against Coherence: Truth, Probability, and Justification

Sample text

4. There is another objection to the claim that full agreement is a case of coherence. Consider a testimonial system S ¼ {hE1,A1i, hE2,A2i} where A1 and A2 are two self-contradictory propositions. This would also be a case of full agreement, and yet the situation seems anything but coherent. Moreover, if this is a case of coherence, then coherence definitely does not imply truth. This objection can be seen to have little merit once the potential applications of coherence are brought into the picture.

Let us imagine that Smith and Jones are presented with a line-up comprising all and only the suspects of the case, Forbes included, among which they have to choose, and that the suspects are equally likely to be the criminal in question. Then the probability that Forbes did it is 1=n, where n is the number of suspects, and if Smith and Jones are completely unreliable, they will each pick out Forbes with probability 1=n, regardless of whether Forbes is actually guilty or not. We have made the substantial assumptions already; the rest is just independence.

If several witnesses agree point by point in their description of the presumed culprit, then we tend to think that what they say must be true. And we tend to think this even if we did not take those coherence, truth, and testimony 25 witnesses to be terribly credible before they delivered their agreeing statements. I will now go on to underpin these intuitions using probability theory. I will then proceed to examine the conditions under which coherence has this impressive effect on the likelihood of truth.

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


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