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On the Coherence of Higher-order Beliefs

Schubert, Stefan LU and Olsson, Erik J LU (2012) In The Southern Journal of Philosophy 50(1). p.112-135
Abstract (Swedish)
Abstract in Undetermined

Let us by first-order beliefs mean beliefs about the world, such as the belief that it will rain tomorrow, and by second-order beliefs let us mean beliefs about the reliability of first-order, belief-forming processes. In formal epistemology, coherence has been studied, with much ingenuity and precision, for sets of first-order beliefs. However, to the best of our knowledge, sets including second-order beliefs have not yet received serious attention in that literature. In informal epistemology, by contrast, sets of the latter kind play an important role in some respectable coherence theories of knowledge and justification. In this paper, we extend the formal treatment of coherence to second-order... (More)
Abstract in Undetermined

Let us by first-order beliefs mean beliefs about the world, such as the belief that it will rain tomorrow, and by second-order beliefs let us mean beliefs about the reliability of first-order, belief-forming processes. In formal epistemology, coherence has been studied, with much ingenuity and precision, for sets of first-order beliefs. However, to the best of our knowledge, sets including second-order beliefs have not yet received serious attention in that literature. In informal epistemology, by contrast, sets of the latter kind play an important role in some respectable coherence theories of knowledge and justification. In this paper, we extend the formal treatment of coherence to second-order beliefs. Our main conclusion is that while extending the framework to second-order beliefs sheds doubt on the generality of the notorious impossibility results for coherentism, another problem crops up that might be no less damaging to the coherentist project: facts of coherence turn out to be epistemically accessible only to agents who have a good deal of insight into matters external to their own belief states. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
The Southern Journal of Philosophy
volume
50
issue
1
pages
112 - 135
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • wos:000300938800009
  • scopus:84858270489
ISSN
2041-6962
DOI
10.1111/j.2041-6962.2011.00089.x
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
3a435b77-a8b9-478b-a912-06abd0f044f6 (old id 1698897)
date added to LUP
2010-11-03 12:13:33
date last changed
2017-01-01 04:06:15
@article{3a435b77-a8b9-478b-a912-06abd0f044f6,
  abstract     = {<b>Abstract in Undetermined</b><br/><br>
Let us by first-order beliefs mean beliefs about the world, such as the belief that it will rain tomorrow, and by second-order beliefs let us mean beliefs about the reliability of first-order, belief-forming processes. In formal epistemology, coherence has been studied, with much ingenuity and precision, for sets of first-order beliefs. However, to the best of our knowledge, sets including second-order beliefs have not yet received serious attention in that literature. In informal epistemology, by contrast, sets of the latter kind play an important role in some respectable coherence theories of knowledge and justification. In this paper, we extend the formal treatment of coherence to second-order beliefs. Our main conclusion is that while extending the framework to second-order beliefs sheds doubt on the generality of the notorious impossibility results for coherentism, another problem crops up that might be no less damaging to the coherentist project: facts of coherence turn out to be epistemically accessible only to agents who have a good deal of insight into matters external to their own belief states.},
  author       = {Schubert, Stefan and Olsson, Erik J},
  issn         = {2041-6962},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {112--135},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {The Southern Journal of Philosophy},
  title        = {On the Coherence of Higher-order Beliefs},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.2041-6962.2011.00089.x},
  volume       = {50},
  year         = {2012},
}