Knowability relative to information
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We present a formal semantics for epistemic logic, capturing the notion of knowability relative to information (KRI). Like Dretske, we move from the platitude that what an agent can know depends on her (empirical) information. We treat operators of the form ΚΑΒ (‘B is knowable on the basis of information A’) as variably strict quantifiers over worlds with a topic- or aboutness-preservation constraint. Variable strictness models the non-monotonicity of knowledge acquisition while allowing knowledge to be intrinsically stable. Aboutness-preservation models the topic-sensitivity of information, allowing us to invalidate controversial forms of epistemic closure while validating less controversial ones. Thus, unlike the standard modal framework for epistemic logic, KRI accommodates plausible approaches to the Kripke-Harman dogmatism paradox which bear on non-monotonicity or on topic-sensitivity. KRI also strikes a better balance between agent idealization and a non-trivial logic of knowledge ascriptions.
Berto , F & Hawke , P 2018 , ' Knowability relative to information ' Mind , vol. In press . DOI: 10.1093/mind/fzy045
© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Mind Association. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial reproduction and distribution of the work, in any medium, provided the original work is not altered or transformed in any way, and that the work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact email@example.com.
DescriptionThis research is published within the project ‘The Logic of Conceivability’, funded by the European Research Council (ERC CoG), Grant Number 681404.
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