Wed Oct 4, 2023
Note special time
|Working Group in the History and Philosophy of Logic, Mathematics, and Science
Stephan Hartmann (LMU Munich)
Coherence considerations guide our reasoning in science and in daily life. But what is coherence anyway? And why is it a useful concept? While mainstream epistemology struggled to answer these questions, formal epistemologists made some progress beginning in the mid-1990s. For various reasons, this debate more or less came to a halt after about ten years. In this talk, I survey earlier attempts and propose a fresh look at the issue. In doing so, I have three goals: (1) To provide an explication of the concept of coherence. (2) To derive and defend a new measure of coherence. (3) To explore the question under what conditions, if any, coherence is truth-conducive. For this purpose, the Bayesian framework proves to be particularly useful. I conclude with a new assessment of the role of coherence considerations in scientific and ordinary reasoning, and a defense of a position I call Bayesian Coherentism. The talk is based on joint work with Borut Trpin (MCMP).