Splitting and Relevance: Broadening the Scope of Parikh’s Concepts

Frederik Van De Putte

Abstract


When our current beliefs face a certain problem – e.g. when we receive new information contradicting them –, then we should not remove beliefs that are not related to this problem. This principle is known as “minimal mutilation” or “conservativity” [21]. To make it formally precise, Rohit Parikh [32] defined a Relevance axiom for (classical) theory revision, which is based on the notion of a language splitting.

I show that both concepts can and should be applied in a much broader context than mere revision of theories in the traditional sense. First, I generalize their application to belief change in general, and strengthen the axiom of relevance in order to make it fully syntax-independent. This is done by making use of the least letter-set representation of a set of formulas [27]. Second, I show that the logic underlying both concepts need not be classical logic and establish weak sufficient conditions for both the finest splitting theorem from [25] and the least letter-set theorem from [27]. Both generalizations are illustrated by means of the paraconsistent logic CLuNs and compared to ideas from [14, 36, 24].


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