Unawareness : A Formal Theory of Unforeseen Contingencies. Part I
This is the first of a sequence of two papers where we present a formal model of unawareness. We contrast unawareness with certainty and uncertainty. A subject is certain of something when he knows that thing; he is uncertain when he does not know it, but he knows he does not: he is consciously uncertain. On the other hand, he is unaware of something when he does not know it, and he does not know he does not know, and so on ad infinitum: he does not perceive, does not have in mind, the object of knowledge. The opposite of unawareness is awareness, which includes certainty and uncertainty. This paper has three main purposes. First, we formalize the concept of awareness, and introduce a symmetry axiom which states that a subject can be aware of something, [ phi ] say, if and only if he is aware of its negation not-cp; in other words, that [ phi ] and not-[ phi ] are perceived together, or neither is. We then derive the basic properties of awareness. The second purpose is to prove a different axiomatic characterization, based on the concept of awareness, of the system which underlies the model of information with partitional structures (known as S5). The third purpose of this paper is to show that without a substantial weakening of the rules of inferences normally assumed in modal logic a satisfactory model of unawareness, which includes the symmetry axiom, is impossible. This alternative approach is developed in a second paper by the same authors.
|Date of creation:||01 Oct 1993|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Voie du Roman Pays 34, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)|
Fax: +32 10474304
Web page: http://www.uclouvain.be/core
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:1993036. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Alain GILLIS)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.