Belief Revision and Truthlikeness

Ilkka Niiniluoto

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Keywords: Belief revision, Truth, Truthlikeness, Similarity, Cognitive progress, Epistemology.

: This paper makes some comparisons between the research programmes of belief revision (Gärdenfors) and truthlikeness (Niiniluoto). Both approaches have employed the notion of similarity, but the revision rules are usually defined without considering truth values. If cognitive progress is defined as increasing truthlikeness, it is interesting to ask under what conditions belief changes are progressive. It is shown that expansion and revision do not always lead our false beliefs closer to the truth, even when the new input information is true. Contracting a false theory with respect to a false sentence may in some cases lead to a more truthlike theory.

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Ilkka Niiniluoto

Spinning Ideas, Electronic Essays
Dedicated to Peter Gärdenfors on His Fiftieth Birthday