Judgment-aggregation theory has always focused on the attainment of rational collective judgments. But so far, rationality has been understood in static terms: as coherence of judgments at a given time, defined as consistency, completeness, and/or deductive closure. This paper asks whether collective judgments can be dynamically rational, so that they change rationally in response to new information. Formally, a judgment aggregation rule is dynamically rational with respect to a given revision operator if, whenever all individuals revise their judgments in light (...) of some information (a learnt proposition), then the new aggregate judgments are the old ones revised in light of this information, i.e., aggregation and revision commute. We prove an impossibility theorem: if the propositions on the agenda are non-trivially connected, no judgment aggregation rule with standard properties is dynamically rational with respect to any revision operator satisfying some basic conditions on revision. Our theorem is the dynamic-rationality counterpart of some well-known impossibility theorems for static rationality. We also explore how dynamic rationality might be achieved by relaxing some of the conditions on the aggregation rule and/or the revision operator. Notably, premise-based aggregation rules are dynamically rational with respect to so-called premise-based revision operators. (shrink)
Recent work has considered the problem of extending to the case of iterated belief change the so-called `Harper Identity' (HI), which defines single-shot contraction in terms of single-shot revision. The present paper considers the prospects of providing a similar extension of the Levi Identity (LI), in which the direction of definition runs the other way. We restrict our attention here to the three classic iterated revision operators--natural, restrained and lexicographic, for which we provide here the first collective characterisation in the (...) literature, under the appellation of `elementary' operators. We consider two prima facie plausible ways of extending (LI). The first proposal involves the use of the rational closure operator to offer a `reductive' account of iterated revision in terms of iterated contraction. The second, which doesn't commit to reductionism, was put forward some years ago by Nayak et al. We establish that, for elementary revision operators and under mild assumptions regarding contraction, Nayak's proposal is equivalent to a new set of postulates formalising the claim that contraction by ¬A should be considered to be a kind of `mild' revision by A. We then show that these, in turn, under slightly weaker assumptions, jointly amount to the conjunction of a pair of constraints on the extension of (HI) that were recently proposed in the literature. Finally, we consider the consequences of endorsing both suggestions and show that this would yield an identification of rational revision with natural revision. We close the paper by discussing the general prospects for defining iterated revision in terms of iterated contraction. (shrink)
Thagard presented a framework for conceptual change in science based on conceptual systems. Thagard challenged belief revision theorists, claiming that traditional belief-revision systems are able to model only the two most conservative types of changes in his framework, but not the more radical ones. The main aim of this work is to take up Thagard’s challenge, presenting a belief-revision-like system able to mirror radical types of conceptual change. We will do that with a conceptual revision system, i.e. a belief-revision-like system (...) that takes conceptual structures as units of revisions. We will show how our conceptual revision and contraction operations satisfy analogous of the AGM postulates at the conceptual level and are able to mimic Thagard’s radical types of conceptual change. (shrink)
Este trabalho tem como principal objetivo apresentar uma abordagem lógico-formal capaz de apreender alguns aspectos do raciocínio abdutivo – o raciocínio responsável pela criação de hipóteses explicativas para fatos surpreendentes -, mediante tanto as noções filosófico-conceituais da canônica abdução peirceana quanto as de explicação científica. No caso desta última, procurarei evidenciar, inicialmente, pontos de contraste entre as concepções de explicação científica de Aristóteles e de Carl Hempel, a fim de elucidar, de modo mais satisfatório, em que medida, de fato, teorias (...) e hipóteses “explicam” algo. Apresentarei, também, um modo de tratar hipóteses explicativas contraditórias, por meio do operador de consistência ○ – próprio da lógica paraconsistente mbC -, o qual amplia o poder expressivo da linguagem-objeto subjacente ao sistema lógico, bem como apresentarei uma abordagem formal alternativa do raciocínio abdutivo pensado como dinâmica de mudança de crenças, especificamente por intermédio da lógica de revisão de crenças AGM. (shrink)
In this paper we investigate AGM belief contraction operators by using the tools of algebraic logic. We generalize the notion of contraction to arbitrary finitary propositional logics, and we show how to switch from a syntactic-based approach to a semantic one. This allows to build a solid bridge between the validity of AGM postulates in a propositional logic and specific algebraic properties of its intended algebraic counterpart. Such a connection deserves particular attention when we deal with maxichoice contractions, as studied (...) in the final part of the paper. (shrink)
Belief Revision addresses the problem of rationally incorporating pieces of new information into an agent’s belief state. In the AGM paradigm, the most used framework in Belief Revision, primacy is given to the new information, which is fully incorporated into the agent’s belief state. However, in real situations, one may want to reject the new information or only accept a part of it. A constructive model called Selective Revision was proposed to meet this need but, as in the AGM framework, (...) focused on belief sets. In this paper we adapt the selective revision operators, that were proposed for belief sets, to the belief base context, obtaining a model in which an agent’s epistemic state is represented by a belief base and that allows the acceptance of only part of the new information. We present several representation theorems for selective base revision operators based on different base revision operators. (shrink)
This article investigates the properties of multistate top revision, a dichotomous model of belief revision that is based on an underlying model of probability revision. A proposition is included in the belief set if and only if its probability is either 1 or infinitesimally close to 1. Infinitesimal probabilities are used to keep track of propositions that are currently considered to have negligible probability, so that they are available if future information makes them more plausible. Multistate top revision satisfies a (...) slightly modified version of the set of basic and supplementary AGM postulates, except the inclusion and success postulates. This result shows that hyperreal probabilities can provide us with efficient tools for overcoming the well known difficulties in combining dichotomous and probabilistic models of belief change. (shrink)
A fictional text is commonly viewed as constituting an invitation to play a certain game of make-believe, with the individual sentences written by the author providing the propositions we are to imagine and/or accept as true within the fiction. However, we can’t always take the text at face value. What narratologists call ‘unreliable narrators’ may present a confused or misleading picture of the fictional world. Meanwhile there has been a debate in philosophy about so-called ‘imaginative resistance’ in which we are (...) inclined to resist imagining (or even accepting as true in the fiction) what’s explicitly stated in the text. But if we can’t take the text’s word for it, how do we determine what’s true in a fiction? We propose an account of fiction interpretation in a dynamic setting (a version of DRT with a mechanism for opening, updating, and closing temporary ‘workspaces’) and combine this framework with belief revision logic. With these tools in hand we turn to modelling imaginative resistance and unreliable narrators. (shrink)
This chapter gives an introduction to the problem of rational belief change and its formal modeling in qualitative logical theories. It first presents an outline of the approach based on rationality postulates and of the most important constructive approaches within the classical AGM model of belief revision. Then it gives the basic ideas of extensions of the classical model to iterated belief revision, to multiple revision and to two-dimensional belief change, to belief merging and to belief updates, as well as (...) to default reasoning. (shrink)
Several authors have investigated the question of whether canonical logic-based accounts of belief revision, and especially the theory of AGM revision operators, are compatible with the dynamics of Bayesian conditioning. Here we show that Leitgeb's stability rule for acceptance, which has been offered as a possible solution to the Lottery paradox, allows to bridge AGM revision and Bayesian update: using the stability rule, we prove that AGM revision operators emerge from Bayesian conditioning by an application of the principle of maximum (...) entropy. In situations of information loss, or whenever the agent relies on a qualitative description of her information state - such as a plausibility ranking over hypotheses, or a belief set - the dynamics of AGM belief revision are compatible with Bayesian conditioning; indeed, through the maximum entropy principle, conditioning naturally generated AGM revision operators. This mitigates an impossibility theorem of Lin and Kelly for tracking Bayesian conditioning with AGM revision, and suggests an approach to the compatibility problem that highlights the information loss incurred by acceptance rules in passing from probabilistic to qualitative representations of beliefs. (shrink)
I present a possible worlds semantics for a hyperintensional belief revision operator, which reduces the logical idealization of cognitive agents affecting similar operators in doxastic and epistemic logics, as well as in standard AGM belief revision theory. (Revised) belief states are not closed under classical logical consequence; revising by inconsistent information does not perforce lead to trivialization; and revision can be subject to ‘framing effects’: logically or necessarily equivalent contents can lead to different revisions. Such results are obtained without resorting (...) to non-classical logics, or to non-normal or impossible worlds semantics. The framework combines, instead, a standard semantics for propositional S5 with a simple mereology of contents. (shrink)
We present a theory of truth in fiction that improves on Lewis's  ‘Analysis 2’ in two ways. First, we expand Lewis's possible worlds apparatus by adding non-normal or impossible worlds. Second, we model truth in fiction as belief revision via ideas from dynamic epistemic logic. We explain the major objections raised against Lewis's original view and show that our theory overcomes them.
In this paper, we compare and contrast two methods for the revision of qualitative beliefs. The first method is generated by a simplistic diachronic Lockean thesis requiring coherence with the agent’s posterior credences after conditionalization. The second method is the orthodox AGM approach to belief revision. Our primary aim is to determine when the two methods may disagree in their recommendations and when they must agree. We establish a number of novel results about their relative behavior. Our most notable finding (...) is that the inverse of the golden ratio emerges as a non-arbitrary bound on the Bayesian method’s free-parameter—the Lockean threshold. This “golden threshold” surfaces in two of our results and turns out to be crucial for understanding the relation between the two methods. (shrink)
Darwiche and Pearl’s seminal 1997 article outlined a number of baseline principles for a logic of iterated belief revision. These principles, the DP postulates, have been supplemented in a number of alternative ways. Most suggestions have resulted in a form of ‘reductionism’ that identifies belief states with orderings of worlds. However, this position has recently been criticised as being unacceptably strong. Other proposals, such as the popular principle (P), aka ‘Independence’, characteristic of ‘admissible’ operators, remain commendably more modest. In this (...) paper, we supplement the DP postulates and (P) with a number of novel conditions. While the DP postulates constrain the relation between a prior and a posterior conditional belief set, our new principles notably govern the relation between two posterior conditional belief sets obtained from a common prior by different revisions. We show that operators from the resulting family, which subsumes both lexicographic and restrained revision, can be represented as relating belief states associated with a ‘proper ordinal interval’ (POI) assignment, a structure more fine-grained than a simple ordering of worlds. We close the paper by noting that these operators satisfy iterated versions of many AGM era postulates, including Superexpansion, that are not sound for admissible operators in general. (shrink)
After presenting the current situation of epistemological research in Latin America and part of its history, this entry will address five topics: skepticism (especially in its Pyrrhonian stripe), core epistemology, formal epistemology, Wittgenstein’s thought in connection with epistemology and skepticism, and epistemology of law. It should be noted from the outset that the entry does not purport to provide a comprehensive account of epistemology in Latin America, but rather to paint a general picture of it by focusing on the main (...) issues that have been discussed within that field. (shrink)
Revision operation is the consistent expansion of a theory by a new belief-representing sentence. We consider that in a paraconsistent setting this desideratum can be accomplished in at least three distinct ways: the output of a revision operation should be either non-trivial or non-contradictory (in general or relative to the new belief). In this paper those distinctions will be explored in the constructive level by showing how the remainder sets could be refined, capturing the key concepts of paraconsistency in a (...) dynamical scenario. These are preliminaries results of a wider project on Paraconsistent Belief Change conduced by the authors. (shrink)
In a recent pair of publications, Richard Bradley has offered two novel no-go theorems involving the principle of Preservation for conditionals, which guarantees that one’s prior conditional beliefs will exhibit a certain degree of inertia in the face of a change in one’s non-conditional beliefs. We first note that Bradley’s original discussions of these results—in which he finds motivation for rejecting Preservation, first in a principle of Commutativity, then in a doxastic analogue of the rule of modus ponens —are problematic (...) in a significant number of respects. We then turn to a recent U-turn on his part, in which he winds up rescinding his commitment to modus ponens, on the grounds of a tension with the rule of Import-Export for conditionals. Here we offer an important positive contribution to the literature, settling the following crucial question that Bradley leaves unanswered: assuming that one gives up on full-blown modus ponens on the grounds of its incompatibility with Import-Export, what weakened version of the principle should one be settling for instead? Our discussion of the issue turns out to unearth an interesting connection between epistemic undermining and the apparent failures of modus ponens in McGee’s famous counterexamples. (shrink)
Given the role consensus is supposed to play in the social aspects of inquiry and deliberation, it is important that we may always identify a consensus as the basis of joint inquiry and deliberation. However, it turns out that if we think of an agent revising her beliefs to reach a consensus, then, on the received view of belief revision, AGM belief revision theory, certain simple and compelling consensus positions are not always available.
Two systems of belief change based on paraconsistent logics are introduced in this article by means of AGM-like postulates. The first one, AGMp, is defined over any paraconsistent logic which extends classical logic such that the law of excluded middle holds w.r.t. the paraconsistent negation. The second one, AGMo , is specifically designed for paraconsistent logics known as Logics of Formal Inconsistency (LFIs), which have a formal consistency operator that allows to recover all the classical inferences. Besides the three usual (...) operations over belief sets, namely expansion, contraction and revision (which is obtained from contraction by the Levi identity), the underlying paraconsistent logic allows us to define additional operations involving (non-explosive) contradictions. Thus, it is defined external revision (which is obtained from contraction by the reverse Levi identity), consolidation and semi-revision, all of them over belief sets. It is worth noting that the latter operations, introduced by S. Hansson, involve the temporary acceptance of contradictory beliefs, and so they were originally defined only for belief bases. Unlike to previous proposals in the literature, only defined for specific paraconsistent logics, the present approach can be applied to a general class of paraconsistent logics which are supraclassical, thus preserving the spirit of AGM. Moreover, representation theorems w.r.t. constructions based on selection functions are obtained for all the operations. (shrink)
The field of iterated belief change has focused mainly on revision, with the other main operator of AGM belief change theory, i.e. contraction, receiving relatively little attention. In this paper we extend the Harper Identity from single-step change to define iterated contraction in terms of iterated revision. Specifically, just as the Harper Identity provides a recipe for defining the belief set resulting from contracting A in terms of (i) the initial belief set and (ii) the belief set resulting from revision (...) by ¬A, we look at ways to define the plausibility ordering over worlds resulting from contracting A in terms of (iii) the initial plausibility ordering, and (iv) the plausibility ordering resulting from revision by ¬A. After noting that the most straightforward such extension leads to a trivialisation of the space of permissible orderings, we provide a family of operators for combining plausibility orderings that avoid such a result. These operators are characterised in our domain of interest by a pair of intuitively compelling properties, which turn out to enable the derivation of a number of iterated contraction postulates from postulates for iterated revision. We finish by observing that a salient member of this family allows for the derivation of counterparts for contraction of some well known iterated revision operators, as well as for defining new iterated contraction operators. (shrink)
In Constructing the World, Chalmers observes that our knowledge exceeds the core evidence provided by our senses and introspection. Thus, on the basis of core evidence, one also can know (S) that water covers the majority of the Earth. This knowledge, Chalmers suggests, requires a great deal of apriori knowledge. Chalmers argues that even if one suspends belief in one’s core evidence, one can nevertheless reason from a description of this evidence to an ordinary claim such as S. Chalmers concludes (...) that the ordinary claim must be apriori entailed by a description of the core evidence. However, I propose that careful thinking about belief suspension reveals that empirical information can contaminate the reasoning from the core evidence to the ordinary claim S, even if belief in the core evidence is suspended. One result is that empiricists and externalists may freely appeal to thought experiments without having to concede that there are substantive apriori truths. (shrink)
In this paper two systems of AGM-like Paraconsistent Belief Revision are overviewed, both defined over Logics of Formal Inconsistency (LFIs) due to the possibility of defining a formal consistency operator within these logics. The AGM° system is strongly based on this operator and internalize the notion of formal consistency in the explicit constructions and postulates. Alternatively, the AGMp system uses the AGM-compliance of LFIs and thus assumes a wider notion of paraconsistency - not necessarily related to the notion of formal (...) consistency. (shrink)
Agents typically revise their beliefs when confronted with evidence that contradicts those beliefs, selecting from a number of possible revisions sufficient to reestablish consistency. In cases where an individual’s beliefs concern spatial relations, belief revision has been fruitfully treated as a decision about which features of an initially constructed spatial mental model to modify. A normative claim about belief revision maintains that agents should prefer minimal belief revisions. Yet recent studies have rebutted the preceding claim, where minimality is understood to (...) consist in modifying the position of the fewest objects, showing instead that reasoners prefer revisions that modify the position of an object x while retaining the position of an object y, when the agent’s new evidence is a relational statement of the form ‘xRy’. We here present cases where the preceding effect is reduced, and show an effect of minimality as measured by the number of initial premises preserved. (shrink)
Individuals often revise their beliefs when confronted with contradicting evidence. Belief revision in the spatial domain can be regarded as variation of initially constructed spatial mental models. Construction and revision usually follow distinct cognitive principles. The present study examines whether principles of revisions which follow constructions under high task demands differ from principles applied after less demanding constructions. We manipulated the task demands for model constructions by means of the continuity with which a spatial model was constructed. We administered tasks (...) with continuous, semi-continuous, and discontinuous conditions as between-subject factor (experiment 1) and as within-subject factor (experiment 2). Construction and revision followed distinct cognitive principles in the changeless conditions of experiment 1. With increased task demands due to switches between different continuity conditions (experiment 2), reasoners adapted the principles they used for model revisions to the principles which they had used during antecedent constructions. (shrink)
The theory of theory change due to Alchourrón, Gärdenfors and Makinson ("AGM") has been widely known as being characterized by two sets of postulates, one being very weak and the other being very strong. Commenting on the three classic constructions of partial meet contraction, safe contraction and entrenchment-based construction, I argue that three intermediate levels can be distinguished that play decisive roles within the AGM theory.
The classical qualitative theory of belief change due to Alchourrón, Gärdenfors and Makinson has been widely known as being characterised by two packages of postulates. While the basic package consists of six postulates and is very weak, the full package that adds two further postulates is very strong. I revisit two classic constructions of theory contraction, viz., relational possible worlds contraction and entrenchment-based contraction and argue that four intermediate levels can be distinguished that play - or ought to play - (...) important roles within qualitative belief revision theory. Levels 3 and 4 encode two ways of interpreting the idea of imperfect discrimination of the plausibilities of possible worlds or propositions. (shrink)
Modern belief revision theory is based to a large extent on partial meet contraction that was introduced in the seminal article by Carlos Alchourrón, Peter Gärdenfors, and David Makinson that appeared in 1985. In the same year, Alchourrón and Makinson published a significantly different approach to the same problem, called safe contraction. Since then, safe contraction has received much less attention than partial meet contraction. The present paper summarizes the current state of knowledge on safe contraction, provides some new results (...) and offers a list of unsolved problems that are in need of investigation. (shrink)
A Revisão de Crenças estuda como agentes racionais mudam suas crenças ao receberem novas informações. O sistema AGM, trabalho mais influente desta área apresentado por Alchourrón, Gärdenfos e Makinson, postula critérios de racionalidade para os diferentes tipos de mudança de crenças e oferece construções explícitas para tais - a equivalência entre os postulados e operações é chamado de teroema da representação. Trabalhos recentes mostram como o paradigma AGM pode ser compatível com diferentes lógicas não-clássicas, o que é chamado de AGM-compatibilidade (...) - este é o caso da família de lógicas paraconsistentes que analisamos, as Lógicas da Inconsistência Formal (LFIs, da sigla em inglês). A despeito da AGM-compatibilidade, ao se partir de uma nova lógica sua racionalidade subjacente deve ser entendida e sua linguagem deve ser efetivamente usada. Propomos assim novas construções que de fato capturam a intuição presente na LFIs - é o que chamamos de sistema AGMo. Com isso, possibilitamos a estas lógicas uma nova interpretação, na esteira da epistemologia formal. Em uma abordagem alternativa, ao se partir da AGM-compatibilidade os resultados AGM podem ser diretamente aplicados às LFIs - o que chamamos de sistema AGMp. Em ambas abordagens, provamos os respectivos teoremas da representação sempre que necessário. (shrink)
This article provides a discussion of the principle of transmission of evidential support across entailment from the perspective of belief revision theory in the AGM tradition. After outlining and briefly defending a small number of basic principles of belief change, which include a number of belief contraction analogues of the Darwiche-Pearl postulates for iterated revision, a proposal is then made concerning the connection between evidential beliefs and belief change policies in rational agents. This proposal is found to be suffcient to (...) establish the truth of a much-discussed intuition regarding transmission failure. (shrink)
Belief revision theory studies how an ideal doxastic agent should revise her beliefs when she receives new information. In part I I will first present the AGM theory of belief revision (Alchourrón & Gärdenfors & Makinson 1985). Then I will focus on the problem of iterated belief revisions.
Belief revision theory studies how an ideal doxastic agent should revise her beliefs when she receives new information. In part I, I have first presented the AGM theory of belief revision. Then I have focused on the problem of iterated belief revisions. In part II, I will first present ranking theory (Spohn 1988). Then I will show how it solves the problem of iterated belief revisions. I will conclude by sketching two areas of future research.
Quine's holistic empiricist account of scientific inquiry can be characterized by three constitutive principles: *noncontradiction*, *universal revisability* and *pragmatic ordering*. We show that these constitutive principles cannot be regarded as statements within a holistic empiricist's scientific theory of the world. This claim is a corollary of our refutation of Katz's [1998, 2002] argument that holistic empiricism suffers from what he calls the Revisability Paradox. According to Katz, Quine's empiricism is incoherent because its constitutive principles cannot themselves be rationally revised. Using (...) Gärdenfors and Makinson's logic of belief revision based on epistemic entrenchment, we argue that Katz wrongly assumes that the constitutive principles are *statements* within a holistic empiricist's theory of the world. Instead, we show that constitutive principles are best seen as *properties* of a holistic empiricist's theory of scientific inquiry and we submit that, without Katz's mistaken assumption, the paradox cannot be formulated. We argue that our perspective on the status of constitutive principles is perfectly in line with Quinean orthodoxy. In conclusion, we compare our findings with van Fraassen's  argument that we should think of empiricism as a stance, rather than as a doctrine. (shrink)
The contributions to the Special Issue on Multiple Belief Change, Iterated Belief Change and Preference Aggregation are divided into three parts. Four contributions are grouped under the heading "multiple belief change" (Part I, with authors M. Falappa, E. Fermé, G. Kern-Isberner, P. Peppas, M. Reis, and G. Simari), five contributions under the heading "iterated belief change" (Part II, with authors G. Bonanno, S.O. Hansson, A. Nayak, M. Orgun, R. Ramachandran, H. Rott, and E. Weydert). These papers do not only pick (...) up the particular questions raised, but also extend and modify the framework of Alchourrón, Gärdenfors and Makinson. Part III deals with preference aggregation and consists of one contribution (by F. Herzberg and D. Eckert). (shrink)
Economic models describe individuals in terms of underlying characteristics, such as taste for some good, sympathy level for another player, time discount rate, risk attitude, and so on. In real life, such characteristics change through experiences: taste for Mozart changes through listening to it, sympathy for another player through observing his moves, and so on. Models typically ignore change, not just for simplicity but also because it is unclear how to incorporate change. I introduce a general axiomatic framework for defining, (...) analysing and comparing rival models of change. I show that seemingly basic postulates on modelling change together have strong implications, like irrelevance of the order in which someone has his experiences and ‘linearity’ of change. This is a step towards placing the modelling of change on solid axiomatic grounds and enabling non-arbitrary incorporation of change into economic models. (shrink)
Probabilistic belief contraction has been a much neglected topic in the field of probabilistic reasoning. This is due to the difficulty in establishing a reasonable reversal of the effect of Bayesian conditionalization on a probabilistic distribution. We show that indifferent contraction, a solution proposed by Ramer to this problem through a judicious use of the principle of maximum entropy, is a probabilistic version of a full meet contraction. We then propose variations of indifferent contraction, using both the Shannon entropy measure (...) as well as the Hartley entropy measure, with an aim to avoid excessive loss of beliefs that full meet contraction entails. (shrink)
This paper presents the model of ‘bounded revision’ that is based on two-dimensional revision functions taking as arguments pairs consisting of an input sentence and a reference sentence. The key idea is that the input sentence is accepted as far as (and just a little further than) the reference sentence is ‘cotenable’ with it. Bounded revision satisfies the AGM axioms as well as the Same Beliefs Condition (SBC) saying that the set of beliefs accepted after the revision does not depend (...) on the reference sentence (although the posterior belief state does depend on it). Bounded revision satisfies the Darwiche–Pearl (DP) axioms for iterated belief change. If the reference sentence is fixed to be a tautology or a contradiction, two well-known one-dimensional revision operations result. Bounded revision thus naturally fills the space between conservative revision (also known as natural revision) and moderate revision (also known as lexicographic revision). I compare this approach to the two-dimensional model of ‘revision by comparison’ investigated by Fermé and Rott (Artif Intell 157:5–47, 2004 ) that satisfies neither the SBC nor the DP axioms. I conclude that two-dimensional revision operations add substantially to the expressive power of qualitative approaches that do not make use of numbers as measures of degrees of belief. (shrink)
Erik J. Olsson and David Westlund have recently argued that the standard belief revision representation of an epistemic state is defective. In order to adequately model an epistemic state one needs, in addition to a belief set K and an entrenchment relation E, a research agenda A, i.e. a set of questions satisfying certain corpus-relative preconditions the agent would like to have answers to. Informally, the preconditions guarantee that the set of potential answers represent a partition of possible expansions of (...) K, hence are equivalent to well-behaved sets of alternative hypotheses. (shrink)
Straightforward theory revision, taking into account as effectively as possible the established nomic possibilities and, on their basis induced empirical laws, is conducive for (unstratified) nomic truth approximation. The question this paper asks is: is it possible to reconstruct the relevant theory revision steps, on the basis of incoming evidence, in AGM-terms? A positive answer will be given in two rounds, first for the case in which the initial theory is compatible with the established empirical laws, then for the case (...) in which it is incompatible with at least one such a law. (shrink)
According to the Ramsey Test, conditionals reflect changes of beliefs: α > β is accepted in a belief state iff β is accepted in the minimal revision of it that is necessary to accommodate α. Since Gärdenfors’s seminal paper of 1986, a series of impossibility theorems (“triviality theorems”) has seemed to show that the Ramsey test is not a viable analysis of conditionals if it is combined with AGM-type belief revision models. I argue that it is possible to endorse that (...) Ramsey test for conditionals while staying true to the spirit of AGM. A main focus lies on AGM’s condition of Preservation according to which the original belief set should be fully retained after a revision by information that is consistent with it. I use concrete representations of belief states and (iterated) revisions of belief states as semantic models for (nested) conditionals. Among the four most natural qualitative models for iterated belief change, two are identified that indeed allow us to combine the Ramsey test with Preservation in the language containing only flat conditionals of the form α > β. It is shown, however, that Preservation for this simple language enforces a violation of Preservation for nested conditionals of the form α > (β > γ). In such languages, no two belief sets are ordered by strict subset inclusion. I argue that it has been wrong right from the start to expect that Preservation holds in languages containing nested conditionals. (shrink)
In this paper it is argued that three of the most prominent theories of conditional acceptance face very serious problems. David Lewis' concept of imaging, the Ramsey test and Jonathan Bennett's recent hybrid view all face viscious regresses, or they either employ unanalyzed components or depend upon an implausibly strong version of doxastic voluntarism.
Classical modal logics, based on the neighborhood semantics of Scott and Montague, provide a generalization of the familiar normal systems based on Kripke semantics. This paper defines AGM revision operators on several first-order monotonic modal correspondents, where each first-order correspondence language is defined by Marc Pauly’s version of the van Benthem characterization theorem for monotone modal logic. A revision problem expressed in a monotone modal system is translated into first-order logic, the revision is performed, and the new belief set is (...) translated back to the original modal system. An example is provided for the logic of Risky Knowledge that uses modal AGM contraction to construct counter-factual evidence sets in order to investigate robustness of a probability assignment given some evidence set. A proof of correctness is given. (shrink)
This paper combines various structures representing degrees of belief, degrees of disbelief, and degrees of non-belief (degrees of expectations) into a unified whole. The representation uses relations of comparative necessity and possibility, as well as non-probabilistic functions assigning numerical values of necessity and possibility. We define all-encompassing necessity structures which have weak expectations (mere hypotheses, guesses, conjectures, etc.) occupying the lowest ranks and very strong, ineradicable ('a priori') beliefs occupying the highest ranks. Structurally, there are no differences from the top (...) to the bottom. I argue that belief is a vague notion, and that thresholds for belief, if there are any, are context-dependent. (shrink)
This is a discussion of the problem of extending the basic AGM belief revision theory to iterated belief revision: the problem of formulating rules, not only for revising a basic belief state in response to potential new information, but also for revising one’s revision rules in response to potential new information. The emphasis in the paper is on foundational questions about the nature of and motivation for various constraints, and about the methodology of the evaluation of putative counterexamples to proposed (...) constraints. Some specific constraints that have been proposed are criticized. The paper emphasizes the importance of meta-information—information about one’s sources of information—and argues that little of substance can be said about constraints on iterated belief revision at a level of abstraction that lacks the resources for explicit representation of meta-information. (shrink)
The theory of belief revision deals with (rational) changes in beliefs in response to new information. In the literature a distinction has been drawn between belief revision and belief update (see ). The former deals with situations where the objective facts describing the world do not change (so that only the beliefs of the agent change over time), while the letter allows for situations where both the facts and the doxastic state of the agent change over time. We focus on (...) belief revision and propose a temporal framework that allows for iterated revision. We model the notion of “minimal” or “conservative” belief revision by considering logics of increasing strength. We move from one logic to the next by adding one or more axioms and show that the corresponding logic captures more stringent notions of minimal belief revision. The strongest logic that we propose provides a full axiomatization of the well-known AGM theory of belief revision. (shrink)
This is a survey paper. Contents: 1 Introduction ― 2 Preliminary remarks on information, truth and mind - 2.1 Remarks on information and truth - 2.2 Some clues from the philosophy of mind - 2.3 Functionalism as applied to belief revision - 2.4 Filling in the parameters ― 3 Belief change = revision + reflection - 3.1 Foundationalism - 3.2 Coherentism ― 4 Inference operations for simple change operations: three examples - 4.1 Example 1: flat data bases - 4.2 Example (...) 2: up-sets in prioritized data bases - 4.3 Example 3: maximal-consistent sets in prioritized data bases ― 5 Representing coherentist belief change by operations on prioritized data bases - 5.1 Moderate revision - 5.2 Revision by comparison ― 6 A very brief history of belief revision - 6.1 The 1980s: AGM's classical model - 6.2 The 1990s: iteration - 6.3 The 2000s: merging ― 7 Conclusion. (shrink)