, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 463-466
Date: 24 Jun 2011

“Merely a logician’s toy?” Belief revision confronting scientific theory change

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Over the past 50 years, theory change has been a central issue in the philosophy of science. While in the 1960s and 1970s it was investigated mainly within the historicist approaches worked out by Thomas Kuhn, Paul Feyerabend, Imre Lakatos and many others, starting from the end of the 1970s it has attracted the attention of an increasing number of philosophers with a logical and formal background. The conference devoted to The Logic and Epistemology of Scientific Change held in Helsinki in 1977 (cf. Niiniluoto and Tuomela 1979) can be considered as the starting point of this logical turn in the research on theory change. Within that conference, some new formal approaches were presented, including the structuralist view of scientific theories, the post-Popperian approaches to verisimilitude and (the logics of) belief revision. In the following decade, Carlos E. Alchourrón, Peter Gärdenfors and David Makinson developed their version of belief revision, commonly known as AGM. The central ...