, Volume 88, Issue 3, pp 431-451
Date: 26 Mar 2008

A Model for Structural Changes of Belief

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The paper suggests a way of modeling belief changes within the tradition of formal belief revision theories. The present model extends the scope of traditional proposals, such as AGM, so as to take care of “structural belief changes” – a type of radical shifts that is best illustrated with, but not limited to, instances of scientific discovery; we obtain AGM expansions and contractions as limiting cases. The representation strategy relies on a non-standard use of a semantic machinery. More precisely, the model seeks to correlate knowledge states with interpretations of a given formal language L, in such a way that the epistemic state of an agent at a given time gives rise to a picture of how things could be, if there weren’t anything else to know. Interpretations of L proceed along supervaluational ideas; hence, the model as a whole can be seen as a particular application of supervaluational semantics to epistemic matters.

Presented by Hannes Leitgeb