On coherent sets and the transmission of confirmation

Luca Moretti, Franz Dietrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we identify a new and mathematically well-defined sense in which
the coherence of a set of hypotheses can be truth-conducive. Our focus is not, as
usually, on the probability but on the confirmation of a coherent set and its members.
We show that, if evidence confirms a hypothesis, confirmation is “transmitted” to
any hypotheses that are sufficiently coherent with the former hypothesis, according
to some appropriate probabilistic coherence measure such as Olsson’s or Fitelson’s
measure. Our findings have implications for scientific methodology, as they provide a
formal rationale for the method of indirect confirmation and the method of confirming
theories by confirming their parts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-424
Number of pages22
JournalPhilosophy of Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005


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