Bayesian Epistemology by Luc Bovens

By Luc Bovens

Chance concept is more and more very important to philosophy. Bayesian probabilistic versions supply us methods of having to grips with basic difficulties approximately info, coherence, reliability, affirmation, and testimony, and hence convey how we will justify ideals and review theories. Bovens and Hartmann supply a scientific advisor to using probabilistic equipment not only in epistemology, but in addition in philosophy of technological know-how, vote casting idea, jurisprudence, and cognitive psychology.

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12 Hence, we can conclude that there cannot exist a measure of coherence that is probabilistic and induces a coherence ordering for information triples ( ) and that simultaneously makes it the case that the more coherent the information set, the more confident we are that the information is true, ceteris paribus ( ). One might raise the following objections. First, we have shown that our degree of confidence is a function of the reliability r and the weight vector . ( ) may well be true if we keep the reliability, the expectance, as well as D fixed under the ceteris paribus clause.

For maximal coherence, it needs to be the case that for . But it is not clear at all what feature we are looking for when assessing and comparing cases of non-maximal coherence. To determine this feature, here is how we will proceed. Suppose that we have a range of suspects for some crime. We question the witnesses, who provide us information about what car the culprit was driving, the culprit's accent, etc. All this information picks out a certain subset of the original suspects that satisfy all these features.

Indeed, in some cases, it is indeterminate which of two theories is more coherent. CONSTRUCTING A MEASURE We will construct a formal measure that permits us to read off a coherence quasi-ordering from the joint probability distributions over the propositional variables whose positive values are constitutive of the information sets. The problem with existing accounts of coherence is that they try to bring precision to our intuitive notion of coherence independently of the particular role that it is meant to play.

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