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FnS - Fantastic conditionals and how to model them

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Mirco Giacobbe.

The term “conditionals” encompasses a variety of if-then sentences, there including counterfactuals, i.e., sentences that describe the consequences of states of affairs that did not occur, and defeasible inferences, patterns of inference that hold “in most cases”. Counterfactual and defeasible sentences are studied in knowledge representation, artificial intelligence and philosophy but, due to their expressiveness, cannot hope to be modelled using classical propositional logic. So how can we implement formal reasoning about conditionals? To answer this question, in this talk I will present neighbourhood models, a class of models allowing to uniformly formalise fine-grained conditionals, rooted in works of Lewis and Stalnaker from the 1970. I will hint at how, using proof theory, forms of automated counterfactual and defeasible reasoning can be implemented.

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This talk is part of the Facts and Snacks series.

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