Inquire about purchasing the book | Table of Contents | Annotated Bibliography | Class on Nature of Mind

**These are excerpts and elaborations from my book "The Nature of Consciousness"**

There is at least one more
requirement for “plausible” reasoning. Classical logic is “monotonic”:
assertions cannot be retracted without compromising the entire system of
beliefs. Once something has been proven to be true, it will be true forever.
Classical Logic was not designed to deal with "news". But our daily
lives are full of events that force us to reexamine our beliefs all the time:
our daily system of logic is “non-monotonic”.
Therefore, a crucial tool for plausible reasoning is non-monotonic
logic, which allows inferences to be made provisionally and, if necessary,
withdrawn at any time. A handful of such logics became popular during the
1980s. Drew McDermott's formulation of Modal Logic is based on a coherence operator: "P
is coherent with what is known" if P cannot be proven false by what is
known (“Nonmonotonic Logic”, 1980).
Robert Moore's "Autoepistemic Logic" (“Semantic Considerations On
Nonmonotonic Logic”, 1983) is based on the notion of belief (related to
McDermott's coherence) and models the
beliefs of an agent reflecting upon his own beliefs. And so forth. Matthew Ginsberg classified formal approaches to
nonmonotonic inference into: proof-based approaches (Reiter's logic), modal approaches (McDermott's logic, Moore's logic) and minimization approaches (circumscription). Ginsberg argued that a variety of
approaches to nonmonotonic reasoning can be unified by resorting to
multi-valued logics (logics that deal with more than just true and false
statements).
Back to the beginning of the chapter "Common Sense" | Back to the index of all chapters |