Interrogative Belief Revision

Project: Dissertation

Layman's description

The branch of philosophical logic known as belief revision theory concerns itself with describing rational theory changes. My thesis is devoted to further developing a relatively recent variant of belief revision theory, which is intended to capture the role played by research agendas in theory change.

We change our beliefs about the external worldon a daily basis; we make observations that provide us with new information that we then must reconcile with the beliefs we already had. In particular, this takes place in empirical science, where theories are tested by experiment and observation - if the observations clash with the predictions of a theory, then that theory must be somehow revised. To understand how one does this rationally is therefore of interest for the philosophy of science.

The area of research known as belief revision theory aims to describe rational theory change using the tools of modern mathematical logic. In recent years, a new model has been proposed, in which focus is placed on the role played by questioning in theory change - what counts as a rational response to some observational input depends not only on how we change our beliefs per se, but also on how we plan future investigations of the world in order to eventually gain more information. My thesis is concerned with further developing this suggestion, and work out a mathematical framework in which the idea can be investigated.
Effective start/end date2007/09/01 ā†’ 2011/12/31


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