ON THE ROLE OF THE RESEARCH AGENDA IN EPISTEMIC CHANGE
- 69 Downloads
The standard way of representing an epistemic state in formal philosophy is in terms of a set of sentences, corresponding to the agent’s beliefs, and an ordering of those sentences, reflecting how well entrenched they are in the agent’s epistemic state. We argue that this wide-spread representational view – a view that we identify as a “Quinean dogma” – is incapable of making certain crucial distinctions. We propose, as a remedy, that any adequate representation of epistemic states must also include the agent’s research agenda, i.e., the list of question that are open or closed at any given point in time. If the argument of the paper is sound, a person’s questions and practical interests, on the one hand, and her beliefs and theoretical values, on the other, are more tightly interwoven than has previously been assumed to be the case in formal epistemology.
KeywordsEpistemic State Belief Revision Belief State Belief Change Auxiliary Hypothesis
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
We would like to thank Bengt Hansson and the participants of his weakly research seminar in philosophy of science for their lively discussions and helpful advice on earlier drafts. Thanks to Sven Ove Hansson who commented on an earlier version. We are much obliged to Ulrich Gähde and the members of his research group in Hamburg for their input and, finally, to two anonymous referees for their many suggestions for how the paper could be improved.
- Gärdenfors, P.: 1988, Knowledge in Flux: Modeling the Dynamics of Epistemic States, The MIT PressGoogle Scholar
- Hansson, S. O.: 1994, ‘Taking Belief Bases Seriously’, in D. Prawitz and D. Westerståhl (eds.), Logic and Philosophy of Science in Uppsala, 13–28Google Scholar
- Hilpinen R. (1986). The Semantics of Questions and the Theory of Inquiry. Logique et Analyse 29:523–539Google Scholar
- Hilpinen R. (1988). On Experimental Questions. In: Batens D. and van Bandegem J. (eds) Theory and Experiment. Reidel, Dordrecht, pp. 15–29Google Scholar
- Hilpinen, R.: 1991, ‘Inquiry, Argumentation and Knowledge’ in A. Fuhrmann and M. Morreau (eds.), The Logic of Theory Change, Springer-Verlag, 3–18Google Scholar
- Levi, I.: 1967, Gambling with Truth, The MIT PressGoogle Scholar
- Levi, I.: 1991, Fixation of Belief and Its Undoing: Changing Beliefs Through Inquiry, Cambridge University PressGoogle Scholar
- Levi I., Morgenbesser S. (1978). Belief and Disposition. In: Tuomela R. (eds) Dispositions. Reidel, Dordrecht, pp. 389–410. Also in: 1964 American Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 1, 221–232Google Scholar
- Lindström, S. and Rabinowicz, W.: 1991, ‘Epistemic Entrenchment with Incomparabilities and Relational Belief Revision’ in A. Fuhrmann and M. Morreau (eds.), The Logic of Theory Change, Springer Verlag, 93–126Google Scholar
- Olsson, E. J.: 2005, ‘Levi and the Lottery’, in Knowledge and Inquiry: Essays on the Pragmatism of Isaac Levi, Cambridge University PressGoogle Scholar
- Quine W.V.O. (1953). Two Dogmas of Empiricism. in From a Logical Point of View. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
- Rott, H.: 2001, Change, Choice, and Inference: A study of Belief Revision and Nonmonotonic Reasoning, Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
- Segerberg K. (1995). Belief Revision from the Point of View of Doxastic Logic. Bulletin of the IGPL 3:534–53Google Scholar
- Spohn, W.: 1998, `Ordinal Conditional Functions. A Dynamic Theory of Epistemic States', in W.L. Harper and B. Skyrms (eds.), Causation in Decision, Belief Change, and Statistics, Vol. II, Kluwer, Dordrecht 105–134Google Scholar
- Tamminga, A.: 2001, Belief Dynamics. (Epistemo) Logical Investigations, ILLC Dissertation Series, UvA, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
- Zenker, F.: (to appear). ``Lakatos' Challenge? Auxilliary Hypotheses and Non-monotonous Inference', Journal of General Philiosophy of Science Google Scholar