Symmetry and belief revision

Erkenntnis 49 (1):21-56 (1998)
This paper continues the recent tradition of investigating iterated AGM revision by reasoning directly about the dynamics for total pre-order (“implausibility ordering”) representations of AGM revision functions. We reorient discussion, however, by proving that symmetry considerations, almost by themselves, suffice to determine a particular, AGM-friendly implausibility ordering dynamics due to Spohn 1988, which we call “J-revision”. After exploring the connections between implausibility ordering dynamics and the social choice theory of Arrow 1963, we provide symmetry arguments in the social choice-theoretic framework for an interesting generalization of J-revision due to Nayak 1994. We conclude by arguing that the symmetry principles that uniquely favor J-revision and its generalizations are importantly expressive of the purely qualitative framework for representing beliefs that distinguishes the AGM program. Our results therefore comprehensively vindicate Spohn's 1988 conjecture that essentially J-revision is the best that can be done by way of a purely qualitative model of belief revision.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Ethics   Logic   Ontology
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DOI 10.1023/A:1005398707330
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Stephen Murray Glaister (2000). Recovery Recovered. Journal of Philosophical Logic 29 (2):171 - 206.
StephenMurray Glaister (2000). Recovery Recovered. Journal of Philosophical Logic 29 (2):171-206.
Richard Booth & Thomas Meyer (2011). How to Revise a Total Preorder. Journal of Philosophical Logic 40 (2):193 - 238.

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