, Volume 155, Issue 2, pp 191–209

My beliefs about your beliefs: a case study in theory of mind and epistemic logic

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11229-006-9144-7

Cite this article as:
van Ditmarsch, H. & Labuschagne, W. Synthese (2007) 155: 191. doi:10.1007/s11229-006-9144-7


We model three examples of beliefs that agents may have about other agents’ beliefs, and provide motivation for this conceptualization from the theory of mind literature. We assume a modal logical framework for modelling degrees of belief by partially ordered preference relations. In this setting, we describe that agents believe that other agents do not distinguish among their beliefs (‘no preferences’), that agents believe that the beliefs of other agents are in part as their own (‘my preferences’), and the special case that agents believe that the beliefs of other agents are exactly as their own (‘preference refinement’). This multi-agent belief interaction is frame characterizable. We provide examples for introspective agents. We investigate which of these forms of belief interaction are preserved under three common forms of belief revision.


Belief revision Modal logic Dynamic epistemic logic Preferences 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

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