Two dogmas of belief revision

Journal of Philosophy 97 (9):503-522 (2000)
The paper attacks the almost universally held view that belief revison theories, as they have been studied in the literature of the past two decades, are founded on a Principle of Minimal Change, or Principle of Informational Economy. The principle comes in two versions. According to the first, an agent should, when accepting new information, aim at a posterior belief set that minimizes the items on which it disagrees with the prior belief set. If there are different ways to effect the belief change, then according to the second version, the agent should give up the beliefs that are least entrenched. Although widely endorsed and advertised by belief revision theorists, the paper argues that both versions of the principle are dogmas that are not in fact (and perhaps should not be) adhered to. Two simple mathematical observations substantiate this claim, and it is defended against four possible objections that involve contractions, reconstructions, dispositions, and truths.
Keywords belief revision  minimal change  conservatism  informational economy  entrenchment
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DOI jphil200097940
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AGM 25 Years.Eduardo Fermé & Sven Ove Hansson - 2011 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 40 (2):295-331.
AGM 25 Years: Twenty-Five Years of Research in Belief Change.Eduardo Fermé & Sven Ove Hansson - 2011 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 40 (2):295 - 331.
A Model for Structural Changes of Belief.Eleonora Cresto - 2008 - Studia Logica 88 (3):431-451.
On Revising Fuzzy Belief Bases.Richard Booth & Eva Richter - 2005 - Studia Logica 80 (1):29-61.

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