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Contraction On the decision-theoretical origins of minimal change and entrench-

Summary: Contraction
On the decision-theoretical origins of minimal change and entrench-
Horacio Arl´o Costa (hcosta@andrew.cmu.edu)
Carnegie Mellon University
Philosophy Department
Pittsburgh, P.A. 15213
Isaac Levi (levi@columbia.edu)
Columbia University
Philosophy Department
New York, N.Y. 10027
We present a decision-theoretically motivated notion of contraction which, we
claim, encodes the principles of minimal change and entrenchment. Contraction is
seen as an operation whose goal is to minimize loses of informational value. The oper-
ation is also compatible with the principle that in contracting A one should preserve
the sentences better entrenched than A (when the belief set contains A). Even when
the principle of minimal change and the latter motivation for entrenchment figure
prominently among the basic intuitions in the works of, among others, Quine (Quine,
1973), Levi (Levi, 1980) (Levi, 1991), Harman (Harman, 1988), and Gardenfors


Source: Andrews, Peter B. - Department of Mathematical Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University


Collections: Mathematics