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LTP Lecture: “Bounding Belief: the problem of logical omniscience and the value of logical modeling”

Thursday 12 October 2023
Pieterskerkhof 6
2311 SR Leiden

The Leiden University Centre for Theoretical Philosophy is pleased to announce a lecture by Dr. Colin Caret, Assistant Professor of Theoretical Philosophy, Utrecht University, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. 

Dr. Colin Caret (Utrecht)


The problem of logical omniscience for models of belief is often said to rest on idealized modeling assumptions. Real agents have limited resources. They cannot infer every implication of their beliefs. Models that predict logical omniscience simply ignore the realities of bounded agency. So the story goes.

In this talk, I will discuss the relationship between logical omniscience and bounded agency at an informal level as well as how this relationship impacts belief modeling.

First, I want to consider some foundational issues that are often glossed over. What kind of problem is logical omniscience? Is logic the best tool to deal with this problem?  What outcome do we hope to achieve with our formal models of belief? Does the notion of bounded agency directly bear on this project and what direction does it point to?

Second, I want to consider some detailed proposals about how to improve formal models of belief. I introduce the problem of logical ignorance, which serves as a counter-point to logical omniscience. A popular idea is that models of belief should lie in between the two extremes. I discuss why this is also difficult. Some minimal conditions force us to one of two undesirable extremes. I consider whether this shows that the heart of the problem is actually a deep paradox about belief.

Attendance at the lectures is free, and there is no need to register. For further questions, please contact Dr. Catharine Diehl at c.e.diehl@phil.leidenuniv.nl

All are welcome!



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