Recovery and epistemic residue

Two recent defences of the recovery postulate for contraction of belief sets are analyzed. It is concluded that recovery is defensible as a by-product of a formalization that is idealized in the sense of being simplified for the sake of clarity. However, recovery does not seem to be a required feature of the doxastic behaviour of ideal (perfectly rational) agents. It is reasonable to expect that there should be epistemic residues (remnants of rejected beliefs), but not that these should always suffice to recover all the original beliefs if the discarded belief is reinstated.
Keywords belief revision  epistemic residue  ideal agent  idealization  recovery  theory change
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DOI 10.1023/A:1008316915066
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