LIRa Session: Alexandru Baltag

Speaker: Alexandru Baltag

Date and Time: Thursday, April 12th 2018, 16:30-18:00

Venue: ILLC Seminar Room F1.15, Science Park 107.

Title: Some Thoughts on the Logic of Imprecise Observations

Abstract: This talk is based on joint work with Johan van Benthem. We propose a dynamic-epistemic analysis of perceptual knowledge, taking as our starting point the paradoxes posed by Williamson’s Margin of Error (MoE) principle. We argue that, contrary to initial intuitions, the specific entanglement between epistemic accessibility and perceptual closeness, that is claimed in the MoE principle, is untenable and inconsistent with daily experience and the theory of measurements.  However, we think that it still contains valuable intuitions for a joint logic of closeness and knowledge, whose contours we develop, by placing structured observational events at center stage. In particular, our analysis explains how imprecise observation can lead to higher-precision knowledge, but also how can we find more plausible formalizations of MoE intuitions, in terms of principles limiting what can be learnt by perceptual observations.