Journal of Philosophical Logic

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 173–200

Bounded Revision: Two-Dimensional Belief Change Between Conservative and Moderate Revision



This paper presents the model of ‘bounded revision’ that is based on two-dimensional revision functions taking as arguments pairs consisting of an input sentence and a reference sentence. The key idea is that the input sentence is accepted as far as (and just a little further than) the reference sentence is ‘cotenable’ with it. Bounded revision satisfies the AGM axioms as well as the Same Beliefs Condition (SBC) saying that the set of beliefs accepted after the revision does not depend on the reference sentence (although the posterior belief state does depend on it). Bounded revision satisfies the Darwiche–Pearl (DP) axioms for iterated belief change. If the reference sentence is fixed to be a tautology or a contradiction, two well-known one-dimensional revision operations result. Bounded revision thus naturally fills the space between conservative revision (also known as natural revision) and moderate revision (also known as lexicographic revision). I compare this approach to the two-dimensional model of ‘revision by comparison’ investigated by Fermé and Rott (Artif Intell 157:5–47, 2004) that satisfies neither the SBC nor the DP axioms. I conclude that two-dimensional revision operations add substantially to the expressive power of qualitative approaches that do not make use of numbers as measures of degrees of belief.


Belief revision Two-dimensional belief change Revision by comparison Iterated revision Sphere semantics Epistemic entrenchment 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of RegensburgRegensburgGermany

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