Humans are often said to be information-processing agents navigating a complex world with their knowledge and beliefs. But preference is what colors our view of that world, and what drives the actions that we take in it. Moreover, we influence each other’s preferences all the time by making evaluative statements, uttering requests or commands, in ways that direct our search for information, and for actions that best fit our goals.
- Belief Revision
- Preference Change
- Deontic Logic
- Dynamic Logic
- Dynamic Semantic
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The earlier study  did propose logic systems for the notion of betterness.
Incidentally, von Wright’s reading for the above \(P \varphi \psi\) has a rider “other things being equal”, meaning that one must keep the truth values of certain relevant predicates constant. We will discuss these ceteris paribus aspects of preference later on.
It would be of interest to contrast their “context-crossing principles” with Hansson’s views.
Another congenial area of formal studies on preferences for agents, and in particular, how these can be rationally merged, is Social Choice Theory : cf. .
Adding the equality variant seems feasible, too, but we will not pursue it.
Some sources are the AI literature on circumscription (cf. ), qualitative decision theory for agents planning actions to achieve specified goals (cf. [55, 67, 182]), and recent computational studies of efficient preference representation (cf. [57, 62] and ). Preferences also occur in the core theory of computation, e.g., in describing evolutions of systems using some measure of “goodness” of execution: cf.  and .
In this sense, the above entanglement of preference and belief also has a useful aspect, as a source of analogies.
Note how this makes betterness a preference over incompatible alternatives.
As usual, these results may be viewed as simple versions of completeness theorems.
The philosophy of action contains many further instances of ideas in this book. E.g., its distinction between “recognitional” and “constructivist” views of practical reasoning  mirrors our distinction between intrinsic and intrinsic preference.
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Liu, F. (2011). Introduction. In: Reasoning about Preference Dynamics. Synthese Library, vol 354. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-1344-4_1
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