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Elementary Belief Revision Operators

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posted on 2023-06-23, 00:45 authored by Jacob ChandlerJacob Chandler, R Booth
Discussions of the issue of iterated belief revision are commonly accompanied by the presentation of three “concrete” operators: natural, restrained and lexicographic. This raises a natural question: What is so distinctive about these three particular methods? Indeed, the common axiomatic ground for work on iterated revision, the AGM and Darwiche-Pearl postulates, leaves open a whole range of alternative proposals. In this paper, we show that it is satisfaction of an additional principle of “Independence of Irrelevant Alternatives”, inspired by the literature on Social Choice, that unites and sets apart our three “elementary” revision operators. A parallel treatment of iterated belief contraction is also given, yielding a family of elementary contraction operators that includes, besides the well-known “conservative” and “moderate” operators, a new contraction operator that is related to restrained revision.


This research was partially supported by the Australian Government through an ARC Future Fellowship (project number FT160100092) awarded to Jake Chandler.


Publication Date



Journal of Philosophical Logic




(p. 267-311)


Springer Nature



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