Synthese Library

Dynamic Tractable Reasoning

A Modular Approach to Belief Revision

Authors: Andreas, Holger

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  • The first book dedicated to the problem of tractable reasoning 
  • Develops a novel solution to one of the most pressing problems in cognitive science
  • Connects, in a unique way, cognitive science and philosophical issues surrounding human reasoning with more technical work on logic, belief revision theory, and computational complexity 
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-36233-1
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About this book

This book aims to lay bare the logical foundations of tractable reasoning. It draws on Marvin Minsky's seminal work on frames, which has been highly influential in computer science and, to a lesser extent, in cognitive science. Only very few people have explored ideas about frames in logic, which is why the investigation in this book breaks new ground. The apparent intractability of dynamic, inferential reasoning is an unsolved problem in both cognitive science and logic-oriented artificial intelligence. By means of a logical investigation of frames and frame concepts, Andreas devises a novel logic of tractable reasoning, called frame logic. Moreover, he devises a novel belief revision scheme, which is tractable for frame logic. These tractability results shed new light on our logical and cognitive means to carry out dynamic, inferential reasoning. Modularity remains central for tractability, and so the author sets forth a logical variant of the massive modularity hypothesis in cognitive science.


This book conducts a sustained and detailed examination of the structure of tractable and intelligible reasoning in cognitive science and artificial intelligence. Working from the perspective of formal epistemology and cognitive science, Andreas uses structuralist notions from Bourbaki and Sneed to provide new foundational analyses of frames, object-oriented programming, belief revision, and truth maintenance. Andreas then builds on these analyses to construct a novel logic of tractable reasoning he calls frame logic, together with a novel belief revision scheme that is tractable for frame logic. Put together, these logical analyses and tractability results provide new understandings of dynamic and inferential reasoning.

Jon Doyle, North Carolina State University

About the authors

Holger Andreas studied philosophy and physics at the Universities of Leipzig and St Andrews. He completed his PhD on Carnap's logic of science in 2005, wherein he developed a novel semantics of theoretical terms. During a postdoctoral year at Stanford University in 2007, he started his work on frames and frame concepts, driven by an emerging interest in the interrelations between logic, knowledge representation, and human cognition.
Following his postdoc, Andreas was Assistant Professor at the University of Bonn and at LMU Munich. Meanwhile, he was a member of the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy, where he completed his habilitation (postdoctoral thesis)  in 2012. After his habilitation, he was a Heisenberg Fellow at LMU Munich (funded by the German Research Foundation). He moved to Canada in 2014, where he is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia.
Holger Andreas' research interrelates philosophical logic with philosophy of science, epistemology, and cognitive science. In addition to the logical foundations of tractable reasoning, he explores conditionals and their use in logical approaches to causation and explanation.

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $54.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-36233-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $99.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-36232-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Covid-19 shipping restrictions
  • Usually ready to be dispatched within 3 to 5 business days, if in stock
Softcover $69.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-36235-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Covid-19 shipping restrictions
  • Usually ready to be dispatched within 3 to 5 business days, if in stock

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Dynamic Tractable Reasoning
Book Subtitle
A Modular Approach to Belief Revision
Authors
Series Title
Synthese Library
Series Volume
420
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-36233-1
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-36233-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-36232-4
Softcover ISBN
978-3-030-36235-5
Series ISSN
0166-6991
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVII, 236
Number of Illustrations
9 b/w illustrations
Topics