Journal of Semantics 6 (1):369-385 (1988)

Authors
Josef Perner
University of Salzburg
Alan Garnham
University of Sussex
Abstract
We present a finite psychological decision procedure for determining whether a situation S provides a participant a in that situation with grounds G for assuming that a and b, the other participant, mutually know some proposition p indicated by S. Our criterion derives from analytic criteria proposed by Lewis (1969) and Schiffer (1972). We discuss how our criterion applies in a series of test examples, and compare it with Clark and Marshall's (1981) triple copresence heuristic. We argue that triple copresence is empirically incorrect. It is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for mutuality, and it fails on a wide variety of examples. We also consider Sperber and Wilson's (1986) recent claim that the concept of mutual knowledge should be replaced by those of mutual manifestness and mutual cognitive environments, and argue that this move fails to solve the problem of mutuality. Finally we discuss how community membership produces mutuality. We argue that mutuality can only be established if certain rules of common sense reasoning can be assumed, and discuss the sense in which these rules must be ‘mutually’ known
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DOI 10.1093/jos/6.1.369
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