Formal semantics for propositional attitudes

Manuscrito 34 (1):323-364 (2011)
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Contemporary logic is confined to a few paradigmatic attitudes such as belief, knowledge, desire and intention. My purpose is to present a general modeltheoretical semantics of propositional attitudes of any cognitive or volitive mode. In my view, one can recursively define the set of all psychological modes of attitudes. As Descartes anticipated, the two primitive modes are those of belief and desire. Complex modes are obtained by adding to primitive modes special cognitive and volitive ways or special propositional content or preparatory conditions. According to standard logic of attitudes , human agents are either perfectly rational or totally irrational. I will proceed to a finer analysis of propositional attitudes that accounts for our imperfect but minimal rationality. For that purpose I will use a non standard predicative logic according to which propositions with the same truth conditions can have different cognitive values and I will explicate subjective in addition to objective possibilities. Next I will enumerate valid laws of my general logic of propositional attitudes. At the end I will state principles according to which minimally rational agents dynamically revise attitudes of any mode



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General semantics.David K. Lewis - 1970 - Synthese 22 (1-2):18--67.

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