Thursday, October 1, 2009

Seminar in Logic and Games at CUNY Graduate Center

From Rohit Parikh:

"Seminar in Logic and Games

CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue
Friday, October 2,
4:15 - 6:15 PM, room 4419

Adam Elga (Princeton University) and Agustin Rayo (MIT)

Title: "Fragmented belief states and logical omniscience"

Abstract: Is there an English word that ends in "MT"? (If you are stumped, think about it for a moment and then read the last word of thisabstract.) Before you figured out (or read) the answer to that question, did you know that the word that is the answer was an English word that ends in"MT"? In a sense, yes: the word was in your vocabulary. But in another sense, no: for a moment, you weren't able to answer the puzzle question. For finite agents, this phenomenon is unavoidable. We often possess a piece of information for some purposes (or with respect to some queries), but not for other purposes (or with respect to other queries). As a result, the state of mind of a finite agent should be represented not by a single batch of information, but rather by a function from "purposes" to batches of information. This representation makes clear what happens during "aha!" moments in reasoning. It helps illuminate what happens when philosophers or mathematicians jointly discuss a disputed question. And it leads to a solution of the problem of logical omniscience. In presenting this framework, the authors hope to convince you that it is more fruitful than you may have dreamt.

Background reading at: "

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