Uncertainty About Evidence

Adam Bjorndahl
(Carnegie Mellon University)
Aybüke Özgün
(ILLC, University of Amsterdam & Arché, University of St. Andrews)

We develop a logical framework for reasoning about knowledge and evidence in which the agent may be uncertain about how to interpret their evidence. Rather than representing an evidential state as a fixed subset of the state space, our models allow the set of possible worlds that a piece of evidence corresponds to to vary from one possible world to another, and therefore itself be the subject of uncertainty. Such structures can be viewed as (epistemically motivated) generalizations of topological spaces. In this context, there arises a natural distinction between what is actually entailed by the evidence and what the agent knows is entailed by the evidence—with the latter, in general, being much weaker. We provide a sound and complete axiomatization of the corresponding bi-modal logic of knowledge and evidence entailment, and investigate some natural extensions of this core system, including the addition of a belief modality and its interaction with evidence interpretation and entailment, and the addition of a "knowability" modality interpreted via a (generalized) interior operator.

In Lawrence S. Moss: Proceedings Seventeenth Conference on Theoretical Aspects of Rationality and Knowledge (TARK 2019), Toulouse, France, 17-19 July 2019, Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science 297, pp. 68–81.
Published: 19th July 2019.

ArXived at: http://dx.doi.org/10.4204/EPTCS.297.5 bibtex PDF
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