Download Changes of Mind: An Essay on Rational Belief Revision by Neil Tennant PDF

By Neil Tennant

This can be the 1st logically targeted, computationally implementable, book-length account of rational trust revision. It explains how a rational agent should continue whilst adopting a brand new trust - a tough topic if the hot trust contradicts the agent's previous ideals.

Belief structures are modeled as finite dependency networks. which will attend not just to what the agent believes, but in addition to the range of purposes the agent has for therefore believing. The computational complexity of the revision challenge is characterised. Algorithms for trust revision are formulated, and carried out in Prolog. The implementation assessments good on a number of easy belief-revision difficulties that pose quite a few demanding situations for any account of trust revision.

The suggestion of 'minimal mutilation' of a trust process is explicated accurately for events whilst the agent is confronted with conflicting ideals. The proposed revision tools are invariant throughout diverse worldwide justificatory buildings (foundationalist, coherentist, etc.). They admire the instinct that, while revising one's ideals, one are usually not carry directly to any trust that has misplaced all its former justifications. The drawback to finite dependency networks is proven to not compromise theoretical generality.
This account offers a unique option to argue that there's an inviolable middle of logical rules. those rules, which shape the process of middle common sense, can't be given up, on discomfort of now not having the ability to perform the reasoning all for rationally revising beliefs.

The e-book ends by means of evaluating and contrasting the recent account with a few significant representatives of previous substitute techniques, from the fields of formal epistemology, man made intelligence and mathematical common sense.

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Extra info for Changes of Mind: An Essay on Rational Belief Revision

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Computing Changes in Belief We introduce the reader to the basic ideas involved in our formal modeling of belief schemes as finite dependency networks. The formal constituents are introduced in such a way as to emphasize the epistemological motivation for having them in the picture. Beliefs are represented by (structureless) nodes, which are arranged in steps that transmit justificatory support. We lay down Axioms of Configuration specifying exactly the general structural features of a finite dependency network.

If one were to become too obsessed with finding philosophically satisfying answers to all the questions initially raised, one might never get round to building any sort of deductive system. The system-building theorist, however, gets a headstart by being willing to make certain idealizing assumptions, plumping for structures and methods that, it is to be hoped, will prove to be invariant across different resolutions of the philosophical issues raised. One can study the structure of deductive inference without having to settle in advance the minutiae of the debate over truth bearers.

9 Methodological considerations Formal or mathematical models are subject to a variety of adequacy constraints; and sometimes different constraints can pull in opposite directions. The great virtues of formal modeling are precision, clarity and rigor, which enable one to pursue a deeper understanding of certain central features of the subject matter. One would hope that every kind of formal modeling would display these basic virtues. One cannot imagine any countervailing pull in any opposite direction.

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