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KEVIN KELLY , OLIVER SCHULTE , VINCENT HENDRICKS RELIABLE BELIEF REVISION
 

Summary: KEVIN KELLY , OLIVER SCHULTE , VINCENT HENDRICKS
RELIABLE BELIEF REVISION
ABSTRACT. Philosophical logicians proposing theories of rational belief revision have had
little to say about whether their proposals assist or impede the agent's ability to reliably
arrive at the truth as his beliefs change through time. On the other hand, reliability is the
central concern of formal learning theory. In this paper we investigate the belief revision
theory of Alchourr'on, G¨ardenfors and Makinson from a learning theoretic point of view.
1. CONSERVATISM AND RELIABILITY
There are two fundamentally different perspectives on the study of belief re­
vision. A conservative methodologist seeks to minimize the damage done to
his current beliefs by new information. A reliabilist, on the other hand, seeks
to find the truth whatever the truth might be. Both aims support hypotheti­
cal imperatives about how inquiry ought to proceed, imperatives that might
be considered principles of inductive rationality. It would seem that there is
some tension between the two perspectives. The conservative sentiment is to
smooth over the effects of new information, whereas reliable inquiry may re­
quire more radical changes. The inductive leap from a hundred black ravens to
the universal generalization that all ravens are black is not conservative. Nor
was Copernicus' revolutionary rejection of conservative tinkering within the
Ptolemaic system. Conservatism and reliabilism are reflected in two equally

  

Source: Andrews, Peter B. - Department of Mathematical Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University
Schulte, Oliver - School of Computing Science, Simon Fraser University

 

Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences; Mathematics