Logic and Topology for Knowledge, Knowability, and Belief - Extended Abstract

Adam Bjorndahl
(CMU)
Aybüke Özgün
(LORIA-CNRS and ILLC)

In recent work, Stalnaker proposes a logical framework in which belief is realized as a weakened form of knowledge. Building on Stalnaker's core insights, and using frameworks developed by Bjorndahl and Baltag et al., we employ topological tools to refine and, we argue, improve on this analysis. The structure of topological subset spaces allows for a natural distinction between what is known and (roughly speaking) what is knowable; we argue that the foundational axioms of Stalnaker's system rely intuitively on both of these notions. More precisely, we argue that the plausibility of the principles Stalnaker proposes relating knowledge and belief relies on a subtle equivocation between an "evidence-in-hand" conception of knowledge and a weaker "evidence-out-there" notion of what could come to be known. Our analysis leads to a trimodal logic of knowledge, knowability, and belief interpreted in topological subset spaces in which belief is definable in terms of knowledge and knowability. We provide a sound and complete axiomatization for this logic as well as its uni-modal belief fragment. We then consider weaker logics that preserve suitable translations of Stalnaker's postulates, yet do not allow for any reduction of belief. We propose novel topological semantics for these irreducible notions of belief, generalizing our previous semantics, and provide sound and complete axiomatizations for the corresponding logics.

In Jérôme Lang: Proceedings Sixteenth Conference on Theoretical Aspects of Rationality and Knowledge (TARK 2017), Liverpool, UK, 24-26 July 2017, Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science 251, pp. 88–101.
Published: 25th July 2017.

ArXived at: http://dx.doi.org/10.4204/EPTCS.251.7 bibtex PDF
References in reconstructed bibtex, XML and HTML format (approximated).
Comments and questions to: eptcs@eptcs.org
For website issues: webmaster@eptcs.org