A Demand of Reason: Dependence in Logic and Probability
Nathaniel Forde
Abstract:
In this thesis we shall argue on two levels (i) we shall elaborate and
criticise the traditional models of formal epistemology (i.e. the
standard Bayesian and Hintikka-style possible world models) and (ii)
we shall show that there is a theory of explanation which incorporates
the influence of both formal epistemology and formal ontology. In
particular we shall develop an account of explanation based on the
explicit logics of dependency relations (e.g. Kit Fine’s logic of
grounding and Pearl and Halpern’s logic of causal dependence) and the
differing species of justification logic (a la Sergei Artemov) which
are defined in terms of each such dependency relation. The
incorporation of this plurality of justification logics in formal
epistemology allows us to deal with some of the problems afflicting
the traditional models of formal epistemology, and construct a theory
of explanation which directly encodes the relevance of the explanans
to the explanandum. Finally, this theory of explanation is opposed to
van Fraassen’s account explanation and defended as both superior and
complementary, thereby motivating further work at the intersection of
formal epistemology and formal ontology.
Keywords: Logic; Language