Being realistic about common knowledge: a Lewisian approach

Synthese 183 (2):249-276 (2011)
Defined and formalized several decades ago, widely used in philosophy and game theory, the concept of common knowledge is still considered as problematic, although not always for the right reasons. I suggest that the epistemic status of a group of human agents in a state of common knowledge has not been thoroughly analyzed. In particular, every existing account of common knowledge, whether formal or not, is either too strong to fit cognitively limited individuals, or too weak to adequately describe their state. I provide a realistic definition of common knowledge, based on a formalization of David Lewis’ seminal account and show that it is formally equivalent to probabilistic common belief. This leads to a philosophical analysis of common knowledge which answers several common criticisms and sheds light on its nature.
Keywords Common knowledge  Probabilistic belief  Rationality  David Lewis  Fallibilism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-010-9770-y
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,727
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Convention: A Philosophical Study.David Lewis - 1969 - Harvard University Press.
Reasoning About Knowledge.Ronald Fagin (ed.) - 2003 - MIT Press.

View all 20 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
The Epistemic Core of Weak Joint Action.Cedric Paternotte - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology (1):1-24.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index

Total downloads
143 ( #34,580 of 2,197,345 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #61,579 of 2,197,345 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature