, Volume 122, Issue 1-2, pp 69-92

Belief Revision And Epistemology

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Postulational approaches attempt to understand the dynamics of belief revision by appealing to no more than the set of beliefs held by an agent and the logical relations between them. It is argued there that such an approach cannot work. A proper account of belief revision must also appeal to the arguments supporting beliefs, and recognize that those arguments can be defeasible. If we begin with a mature epistemological theory that accommodates this, it can be seen that the belief revision operators on which the postulational theories are based are ill-defined. It is further argued that there is no way to repair the definitions so as to retain the spirit of those theory. Belief revision is better studied from within an independently motivated epistemological theory.