The negative Ramsey test

In André Fuhrmann & Michael Morreau (eds.), The Logic of Theory Change. Springer (1991)
Sten Lindström
Umeå University
Wlodek Rabinowicz
Lund University
Michael Morreau
University of Tromsø
1 more
The so called Ramsey test is a semantic recipe for determining whether a conditional proposition is acceptable in a given state of belief. Informally, it can be formulated as follows: (RT) Accept a proposition of the form "if A, then C" in a state of belief K, if and only if the minimal change of K needed to accept A also requires accepting C. In Gärdenfors (1986) it was shown that the Ramsey test is, in the context of some other weak conditions, on pain of triviality incompatible with the following principle, which was there called the preservation criterion: (P) If a proposition B is accepted in a given state of belief K and the proposition A is consistent with the beliefs in K, then B is still accepted in the minimal change of K needed to accept A. (RT) provides a necessary and sufficient criterion for when a 'positive' conditional should be included in a belief state, but it does not say anything about when the negation of a conditional sentence should be accepted. A very natural candidate for this purpose is the following negative Ramsey test: (NRT) Accept the negation of a proposition of the form "if A, then C" in a consistent state of belief K, if and only if the minimal change of K needed to accept A does not require accepting C. This note shows that (NRT) leads to triviality results even in the absence of additional conditions like (P).
Keywords Ramsey test  negative Ramsey test  preservation  Gärdenfors, Peter  Ramsey, Frank
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Conditionals in Reasoning.John Cantwell - 2009 - Synthese 171 (1):47 - 75.

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