How to model relational belief revision

In Dag Prawitz & Dag Westerståhl (eds.), Logic and Philosophy of Science in Uppsala. Kluwer (1994)
This is a short version of Lindström & Rabinowicz 1991.In earlier papers, we proposed a generalization of the AGM approach to belief revision. The proposal was to view belief revision as a relation rather than as a function on theories (or belief sets). Going relational means that one allows for several equally reasonable revisions of a theory with a given proposition. In the present paper, we show that the relational approach is the natural result of generalizing in a certain way an approach to belief revision due to Adam Grove. In his (1988) paper, Grove presented two closely related modelings of functional belief revision, one in terms of a family of "spheres" around the agent's theory G and the other in terms of an epistemic entrenchment ordering of propositions. The "sphere"-terminology is natural when one looks upon theories and propositions as sets of possible worlds. Grove's spheres may be thought of as possible "fallback" theories relative to the agent's original theory: theories that he may reach by deleting propositions that are not "sufficiently" entrenched (according to standards of sufficient entrenchment of varying stringency). The entrenchment ordering can be recovered from the family of fallbacks by the definition: A is at least as entrenched as B iff A belongs to every fallback to which B belongs. To revise a theory T with a proposition A, we go to the smallest sphere that contain A-worlds and intersect it with A. The relational notion of belief revision that we are interested in, results if one allows that some propositions may be incomparable with respect to epistemic entrenchment. As a result, the family of fallbacks around a given theory will no longer have to be nested. This change opens up the possibility for several different ways of revising a theory with a given proposition.
Keywords belief revision  entrenchment  relational belief revision  fallbacks  Adam Grove  AGM  Peter Gärdenfors
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