Nancy Nuñez: Epistemic Lessons from the Complexity of Logical Entailment

10. 02. 2022  | 15:00

In  1970, Jaakko Hintikka referred to the problem of accounting for the  informativeness of deduction as the “scandal of deduction.”(Hintikka  1970) According to Hintikka, the problem seems to arise from the  “tautological” or “analytical” nature of deduction: the conclusion  validly deduced from a set of premises is said to be contained in that  set. A straightforward way to understand this containment relation is to  think that the information provided by the conclusion is already  contained in the information provided by the premises. Under this  assumption, it is problematic to explain how we can gain knowledge by  deducing a logical consequence implied in a set of known premises, and  because of this problem deduction has been considered uninformative and  useless. To address this problem, we need an epistemological account to  defend that knowledge can be gained through deduction, that is, an  epistemological account to vindicate the usefulness and informativeness  of deduction. The aim of this talk is to propose that the complexity of a  decision problem known as Logical Entailment can lay the foundation for  such an epistemological account.

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About Project

The aim of the project is to develop a formalization of epistemology analogous to Frege’s formalization of logic. The core of the project centres upon five theses setting out the path to a truly formal epistemology. These theses are based on the deeply-held belief that the current trend in the formalization of epistemology is insufficiently radical.