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Belief Revision and Relevance

Peter Gardenfors
PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association
Vol. 1990, Volume Two: Symposia and Invited Papers (1990), pp. 349-365
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/193079
Page Count: 17
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Belief Revision and Relevance
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Abstract

A general criterion for the theory of belief revision is that when we revise a state of belief by a sentence A, as much of the old information as possible should be retained in the revised state of belief. The motivating idea in this paper is that if a belief B is irrelevant to A, then B should still be believed in the revised state. The problem is that the traditional definition of statistical relevance suffers from some serious shortcomings and cannot be used as a tool for defining belief revision processes. In particular, the traditional definition violates the requirement that if A is irrelevant to C and B is irrelevant to C, then A&B is irrelevant to C. In order to circumvent these drawbacks, I develop an amended notion of relevance which has the desired properties. On the basis of the new definition, I outline how it can be used to simplify a construction of a belief revision method.

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