Against Coherence (inbunden)
Inbunden (Hardback)
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illustrated ed
OUP Oxford
241 x 163 x 20 mm
560 g
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52:B&W 6.14 x 9.21in or 234 x 156mm (Royal 8vo) Case Laminate on White w/Gloss Lam

Against Coherence

Truth, Probability, and Justification

Inbunden,  Engelska, 2005-04-01
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It is tempting to think that, if a person's beliefs are coherent, they are also likely to be true. This truth-conduciveness claim is the cornerstone of the popular coherence theory of knowledge and justification. Erik Olsson's new book is the most extensive and detailed study of coherence and probable truth to date. Setting new standards of precision and clarity, Olsson argues that the value of coherence has been widely overestimated. Provocative and readable, Against Coherence will make stimulating reading for epistemologists and anyone with a serious interest in truth.
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Charles B. Cross, Mind ...a fascinating contribution to the literature on formal models of coherence and will be essential reading for anyone wishing to keep abreast of that literature.

Michael Huemer, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews ...poses a powerful challenge to coherence theories of justification, from the standpoint of probabilistic epistemology. Anyone interested in the coherence theory or in probabilistic approaches to epistemology needs to attend closely to Olsson's careful and extremely important work.

Hans Rott, Professor of Philosophy, Editor-in-Chief of Erkenntnis, Regensburg, Germany Dr. Olsson has produced a very interesting, substantial and instructive book. It takes important elements of epistemological coherence theories to a higher level of clarity, thus making it possible to explore in a precise manner vague considerations that were all too often based on faulty intuitions. Central parts of the book can even be described as provocative, since they attack crucial parts of prototypical coherence theories. Undoubtedly this book represents a very significant advance in this field of philosophical research.

Luc Bovens, Professor, London School of Economics, Editor-in-Chief of Economics and Philosophy Olsson uses modern techniques from probability theory and modeling to examine whether the coherence theory of justification is tenable. Olsson takes us through much of the history and major figures in the coherence theory of justification. This work is well-written, well-informed by the existing literature and there is an interesting mix of formal argument and philosophical argumentation.


1. Introduction; PART I: DOES COHERENCE IMPLY TRUTH?; 2. Coherence, truth, and testimony; 3. C. I. Lewis's radical justification of memory; 4. Laurence BonJour's radical justification of belief; 5. C. A. J. Coady's radical justification of natural testimony; PART II: DOES MORE COHERENCE IMPLY HIGHER LIKELIHOOD OF TRUTH?; 6. Making the question precise; 7. A negative answer; PART III: OTHER VIEWS; 8. How not to regain the truth connection: a reply to Bovens and Hartmann; 9. Other coherence theories; PART IV: SCEPTICISM AND INCOHERENCE; 10. Pragmatism, doubt, and the role of incoherence; Appendix A: Counterexample to the Doxastic Extension Principle; Appendix B: Proof of the Impossibility Theorem; Appendix C: Proofs of Observations