Home > ceteris paribus, miwhpm, reasoning > Patrick Girard – Being flexible about ceteris paribus reasoning

Patrick Girard – Being flexible about ceteris paribus reasoning

November 26, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

The Montreal Inter-University Workshop on the History and Philosophy
of Mathematics
Patrick Girard (Auckland):
Being flexible about ceteris paribus reasoning
Monday, November 28, 2011
McGill University, Leacock Building, Room 927. 4:00-5:30pm
Abstract: Ceteris Paribus clauses in reasoning are used to allow for
defeaters of norms, rules or laws, such as in von Wright’s example "I
prefer my raincoat over my umbrella, everything else being equal". I
offer and analysis in which sets of formulas Γ, embedded in modal
operators, provide necessary and sufficient conditions for things to
be equal in ceteris paribus clauses. For most laws, the set of things
allowed to vary is small, often finite, and so Γ is typically
infinite. Yet the axiomatisation provided so far can only deal with
the special and atypical case in which Γ is finite. I address this
problem by being more flexible about ceteris pairbus conditions, in
two ways. The first is to offer an alternative, slightly more general
semantics, in which the set of formulas are only give necessary but
not (necessarily) sufficient conditions. This permits a simple
axiomatisation. The second is to consider those sets of formulas which
are sufficiently flexible to allow the construction of a satisfying
model in which the stronger necessary-and-sufficient interpretation is
maintained. I finally discuss how this more abstract setting relates
to von Wright’s initial idea.
For more information, please contact:Gregory Lavers (Concordia),
Mathieu Marion (UQÀM), Jean-Pierre Marquis (UdM), Dirk Schlimm
Website: http://www.cs.mcgill.ca/~dirk/workshop

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