Coherence, Truth and Testimony by Ulrich Gähde, Stephan Hartmann

By Ulrich Gähde, Stephan Hartmann

This ebook presents a finished knowing of coherence, the talk surrounding it, and its implications around the self-discipline of philosophy. insurance first takes up the demanding and arguable activity of measuring the coherence of a data set after which criticizes this exercise. The e-book additionally relates this foundational learn to a wide range of epistemological and metaphysical demanding situations.

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My primary concern in this paper is the impact of coherence of evidence in the sense of coherence of the content propositions on the confirmation of the hypothesis. In the hacker example it appears that other things being equal, the content propositions A1, A2 and A3 in the first case, which are more coherent, are more likely to be true than the content propositions AÃ1 , AÃ2 and AÃ3 in the second case, which are less coherent. More generally, it appears that, other things being equal, a higher degree of coherence among the content propositions makes it more likely that they are true.

By rendering sets of contrary statements maximally incoherent, Shogenji does not take into account this aspect of coherence, although it plays a significant role in scientific thinking. Finally, Shogenji’s measure entails that, by including the conjunction or disjunction of the propositions in question, coherence is usually increased. In the normal course of events, P(A & B) and PðA _ BÞ are smaller than 1. Moreover, both A & B & (A & B) and A & B &ðA _ BÞ can be reduced to A & B. Therefore: CS ðA; B; A BÞ ¼ PðA BÞ CS ðA BÞ ¼ PðAÞ Â PðBÞ Â PðA BÞ PðA BÞ > CS ðA; BÞ PðA BÞ CS ðA BÞ ¼ CS ðA; B; A _ BÞ ¼ PðAÞ Â PðBÞ Â PðA _ BÞ PðA _ BÞ > CS ðA; BÞ But this is not acceptable as a general rule.

7 The standard formulation of the coherence thesis throws out numerous normal cases of confirmation, including the coin toss cases above where coherence of evidence appears to be as relevant to confirmation as it is in the hacker example. The standard formulation of the coherence thesis is therefore unreasonably restrictive. I propose to abandon the requirement that the hypothesis to confirm must be the conjunction of the content propositions. My position is not that we should never assess the impact of coherence on the conjunction of the content propositions.

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