Nonmonotonic probabilistic reasoning under variable-strength inheritance with overriding

Synthese 146 (1-2):153 - 169 (2005)
We present new probabilistic generalizations of Pearl’s entailment in System Z and Lehmann’s lexicographic entailment, called Zλ- and lexλ-entailment, which are parameterized through a value λ ∈ [0,1] that describes the strength of the inheritance of purely probabilistic knowledge. In the special cases of λ = 0 and λ = 1, the notions of Zλ- and lexλ-entailment coincide with probabilistic generalizations of Pearl’s entailment in System Z and Lehmann’s lexicographic entailment that have been recently introduced by the author. We show that the notions of Zλ- and lexλ-entailment have similar properties as their classical counterparts. In particular, they both satisfy the rationality postulates of System P and the property of Rational Monotonicity. Moreover, Zλ-entailment is weaker than lexλ-entailment, and both Zλ- and lexλ-entailment are proper generalizations of their classical counterparts.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Logic   Metaphysics   Philosophy of Language
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