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

By Erik J. Olsson

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 conception of data and justification. Erik Olsson's new publication is the main broad and particular research of coherence and possible fact so far. surroundings new criteria of precision and readability, Olsson argues that the worth of coherence has been generally over priced. Provocative and readable, opposed to Coherence will make stimulating interpreting for epistemologists and a person with a major curiosity honestly.

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Forbes will raise the probability that Jones will make the same assessment. The reason is that, Smith being somewhat credible, his testimony against Forbes will raise the probability that Forbes actually did it. Given Jones’s partial credibility, the latter raise should in turn positively affect the probability that he will give a similar testimony. The lesson to be drawn from the observation just made is that we must, in testing for real testimonial independence, make sure that such indirect dependences between testimonies have been blocked.

The two most interesting conditions were seen to be those of testimonial independence and individual credibility. The reports are independent if the reporters have not agreed beforehand to coordinate their reports by fudging them into agreement. I have indicated how the notion of testimonial independence can be spelled out uncontroversially in probabilistic terms. A report is individually credible, furthermore, if it is a somewhat, but not fully, reliable indicator of the truth of its content. As we also saw, the posterior joint probability in witness scenarios is dependent on two parameters: the prior probability of what is being agreed upon and the credibility of each report taken singly.

This is trivially satisfied if they are reliable, since then P(E1/H,R) ¼ 1 ¼ P(E1/H,R,E2). What we need to stipulate is that they incriminate independently if they are unreliable: PðE1 =H,U,E2 Þ ¼ PðE1 =H,UÞ PðE1 =:H,U,E2 Þ ¼ PðE1 =:H,UÞ ðvÞ ðviÞ 4 Conditions (iii) and (iv) together imply PðE =H,UÞ ¼ PðE =:H,UÞ, that is to say, the hypo1 1 thesis and the evidence are independent conditional on a witness’s being unreliable. This condition has previously been imposed in the so-called ‘Scandinavian School of Evidentiary Value’ 42 does coherence imply truth?

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