Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Epistemic dynamics and protocol information
by Hoshi, Tomohiro, Ph.D., Stanford University, 2009, 257; 3364501
Abstract (Summary)

Mathematical representation of knowledge and belief has become a topic of increasing interest. An individual knows or believes certain things based on the information she has. What type of mathematical models can we use for precise representations of her information, knowledge or beliefs? When an individual's environment involves other individuals, she may know what others know, and such knowledge depends on the knowledge that others have. How can we represent the relations between her knowledge and the knowledge of others? Finally, an individual may obtain new information during the course of her activities by observing facts in nature, interacting with other individuals, making inferences from what she previously knows, and so on. How can we capture these informational changes in her knowledge? Investigations of these questions have been addressed under the umbrella term, 'intelligent interaction', and they have been studied in various fields.

There are two important aspects in describing intelligent interaction. One is how agents' epistemic states change over relevant informational events. Different informational events change agents' information differently and the way that informational events change agents' information can be quite subtle. Therefore, it is crucial to get a good grasp on informational events and their informational effects. I call this aspect epistemic dynamics. The other is what informational events can take place in the course of agents' interaction. Both the information that agents have and the way that the information changes depend not only on what informational event happens but also on what kind of process agents' interaction involves. Informational events that can happen reflect what the process is and, as such, are important to be captured. I call the kind of information protocol information.

The dissertation will investigate intelligent interaction from the perspectives of epistemic dynamics and protocol information. The first objectives of the dissertation is to develop a formal framework that represents the two perspectives. The formal framework is developed by merging the two major systems in the literature, Dynamic Epistemic Logic (DEL) and Epistemic Temporal Logic (ETL). The second objective of the dissertation is to illustrate how our new framework can throw new light on existing philosophical problems. In particular, we will study The Knowability Paradox and Epistemic Closure Principle by using our formal framework.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Benthem, Johan van
School: Stanford University
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 70/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mathematics, Philosophy, Computer science
Keywords: Dynamics, Epistemic logic, Epistemology, Information, Informational events, Intelligent interaction, Knowledge, Logic
Publication Number: 3364501
ISBN: 978-1-109-24289-8
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