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The Logic of Knowledge

by

Chris Hardin
Union College

March 2, 2010
4:00 pm
Bailey Hall 201

Refreshments will be served at 3:45 in Bailey Hall 204


Abstract:

Everyday logic is fine for stating and manipulating sentences like "If it is snowing, then it is cloudy," or "Every positive integer has a unique prime factorization." It is not so good if we want to work with sentences that involve knowledge, such as, "Alice knows that it is cloudy," or, more elaborately, "Alice knows that Bob knows that Alice stole Carl's lawnmower, she knows that Bob knows that she knows he cheated on his taxes, and she also knows that Bob knows that she knows he is the only person who knows she stole Carl's lawnmower" in which case she can be fairly confident that Bob won't tell Carl about the lawnmower, for fear of retaliation. We will look at epistemic logic, which is capable of capturing and reasoning about such statements. We will also look at how communication affects knowledge, and the peculiar fact that communication can in strange circumstances result in a loss of knowledge.


For additional information, send e-mail to math@union.edu or call (518) 388-6246.
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