Thing and Thought

  • Don Perlis
Part of the Studies in Cognitive Systems book series (COGS, volume 5)


Self-reference or self-applicability is an important theme throughout Computer Science, from recursive programs to undecidability results, from bootstrapping to program semantics. A relative latecomer to this list is Artificial Intelligence, for only recently has self-reference been seen as an important attribute of intelligent systems. This paper will give a bird’s-eye (and personal) overview of some of the issues surrounding self-reference in AI, especially those related to non-monotonicity, reification, and intentionality.


Nonmonotonic Logic Recursive Program Syntactical Treatment Liar Sentence Program Semantic 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ackermann, W. “Zur axiomatik der mengenlehre,” Mathematische Annalen 131 pp. 336–345, 1956.MathSciNetzbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barwise, J. and J. Perry. Situations and Attitudes, MIT Press, 1983.Google Scholar
  3. Churchland, P. Matter and Consciousness, MIT Press, 1984.Google Scholar
  4. Dennett, D. Brainstorms, Bradford Books, 1978.Google Scholar
  5. des Rivieres, J. and H. Levesque. “The consistency of syntactical treatments of knowledge,” Proceedings of the Conference on Theoretical Aspects of Reasoning About Knowledge, Monterey, October 1986.Google Scholar
  6. Drapkin, J. and D. Perlis. “Step-logics: an alternative approach to limited reasoning,” Proceedings, 7th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Brighton, England, July 1986.Google Scholar
  7. Drapkin, J. and D. Perlis. “A preliminary excursion into step logics,” Proceedings, International Symposium on Methodologies for Intelligent Systems, Knoxville, Tennessee, October 1986.Google Scholar
  8. Elgot-Drapkin, J. and D. Perlis. “Reasoning situated in time,” submitted to Artificial Intelligence, 1988.Google Scholar
  9. Elgot-Drapkin, J. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Maryland, 1988.Google Scholar
  10. Fagin, R. and J. Halpern. “Belief, awareness, and limited reasoning: preliminary report,” IJCAI 85, pp. 491–501, 1985.Google Scholar
  11. Feferman, S. “Toward useful type-free theories, I,” Journal of Symbolic Logic 49, 75–111, 1984.MathSciNetzbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gilmore, P. “The consistency of partial set theory without extensionality,” Axiomatic Set Theory, T. Jech, ed., American Mathematical Society, pp. 147–153, 1974.Google Scholar
  13. Gödel, K. “Uber formal unentscheidbare Satze der Principia Mathematics and verwandter Systeme I,” Monatschrifte Mathematische Physik 38, pp. 173–198, 1931.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kripke, S. “Outline of a theory of truth,” Journal of Philosophy 72, pp. 690–716, 1975.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kripke, S. “A puzzle about belief,” Meaning and Use, A. Margalit, ed., Dordrecht, pp. 234–283, 1979.Google Scholar
  16. Levesque, H. “A logic of implicit and explicit belief,” Proceedings 3rd National Conference on Artificial Intelligence, pp. 198–202, 1984.Google Scholar
  17. Löb, M. “Solution of a problem of Leon Henkin,” Journal of Symbolic Logic 20, pp. 115–118, 1955.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. McCarthy, J. “First order theories of individual concepts and propositions,” Machine Intelligence 9, pp. 129–147, 1979.MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  19. McCarthy, J. “Circumscription—a form of non-monotonic reasoning,” Artificial Intelligence 13, pp. 27–39, 1980.MathSciNetzbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. McCarthy, J. “Applications of circumscription to formalizing commonsense knowledge,” Artificial Intelligence 28, pp. 89–118, 1986.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. McDermott, D. and J. Doyle. “Non-monotonic logic I,” Artificial Intelligence 13, pp. 41–72, 1980.MathSciNetzbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Minsky, M. “Matter, mind, and models,” Semantic Information Processing, M. Minsky, ed., MIT Press, pp. 425–432, 1968.Google Scholar
  23. Montague, R. “Syntactical treatments of modality, with corollaries on re-flexion principles and finite axiomatizability,” Acta Philosophica Fennica 16, pp. 153–167, 1963.MathSciNetzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  24. Moore, R. “Semantical considerations on nonmonotonic logic,” IJCAI 83, 1983.Google Scholar
  25. Perlis, D. “Languages with self-reference I: foundations,” Artificial Intelligence 25, pp. 301–322, 1985.MathSciNetzbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Perlis, D. “On the consistency of commonsense reasoning,” Computational Intelligence 2, pp. 180–190, reprinted in M. Ginsberg. ed., Non-Monotonic Reasoning, Morgan Kaufmann, pp. 56–66, 1987.Google Scholar
  27. Perlis, D. “What is and what isn’t,” Symposium on Intentionality, Society for Philosophy and Psychology, Johns Hopkins University, 1986b.Google Scholar
  28. Perlis, D. “Circumscribing with sets,” Artificial Intelligence 31, pp. 201–211, 1987a.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Perlis, D. “Ilow can a program mean?” Proceedings International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence,Milan, August, 1987. Google Scholar
  30. Perlis, D. “Languages with self-reference II: knowledge, belief, and modality,” Artificial Intelligence 34,pp. 179–212, 1988a.Google Scholar
  31. Perlis, D. “Autocircumscription,” Artificial Intelligence 36, pp. 223–236, 1988b.MathSciNetzbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Perlis, D. “Commonsense set theory,” Meta-Level Architectures and Architectures, P. Maes and D. Nardi, eds., Elsevier, 1988c.Google Scholar
  33. Perlis, D. and R. Hall. “Intentionality as internality,” Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 9(1), pp. 151–152, 1986.Google Scholar
  34. Pylyshyn, Z. Computation and Cognition, MIT Press, 1984.Google Scholar
  35. Rapaport, W. “Syntactic semantics: foundations of computational natural-language understanding,” Aspects of Artificial Intelligence, J. Fetzer, ed., Kluwer, pp. 81–131, 1988.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Reiter, R. “A logic for default reasoning” Artificial Intelligence 13, pp. 81132, 1980.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Rosenschein, S. and L. Kaelbling. “ The synthesis of digital machines with provable epistemic properties,” SRI Technical Report 412, 1987.Google Scholar
  38. Sloman, A. “Reference without causal links,” Proceedings 7th ECAI, July 21–25, 1986, Brighton, UK., pp. 369–381, 1986.Google Scholar
  39. Steels, L. “The explicit representation of meaning,” Proceedings Workshop on Meta-Level Architectures and Reflection, Sardinia, October 1986.Google Scholar
  40. Stich, S. From Folk Psychology to Cognitive Science: The Case Against Belief, MIT Press, 1984.Google Scholar
  41. Suchman, L. “Plans and situated actions,” Technical Report ISL-6, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, February 1985.Google Scholar
  42. Tarski, A. “Der Wahrheitsbegriff,” in den formalisierten Sprachen, Studia Philosophic 1, pp. 261–405, 1936.Google Scholar
  43. Thomason, R. “A note on syntactical treatments of modality,” Synthese 44, pp 391–395, 1980.MathSciNetzbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Don Perlis

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations