- Principle 1. Symmetry. Explanatory coherence is a symmetric relation, unlike, say, conditional probability. That is, two propositions p and q cohere with each other equally.
- Principle 2. Explanation. (a) A hypothesis coheres with what it explains, which can either be evidence or another hypothesis; (b) hypotheses that together explain some other proposition cohere with each other; and (c) the more hypotheses it takes to explain something, the lower the degree of coherence.
- Principle 3. Analogy. Similar hypotheses that explain similar pieces of evidence cohere.
- Principle 4. Data priority. Propositions that describe the results of observations have a degree of acceptability on their own.
- Principle 5. Contradiction. Contradictory propositions are incoherent with each other.
- Principle 6. Competition. If P and Q both explain a proposition, and if P and Q are not explanatorily connected, then P and Q are incoherent with each other. (P and Q are explanatorily connected if one explains the other or if together they explain something.)
- Principle 7. Acceptance. The acceptability of a proposition in a system of propositions depends on its coherence with them.