Please note that this newsitem has been archived, and may contain outdated information or links.

22 November 2002, Activating Epistemology, Vincent F. Hendericks

Speaker: Vincent F. Hendericks
Date: Friday 22 November 2002
Time: 16:15
Location: Room P.016, Euclides Building, Plantage Muidergracht 24, Amsterdam


Like the blind men around the elephant, philosophers seize the concept of knowledge only by its various parts. Mainstream epistemology seeks necessary and sufficient conditions for the possession of knowledge. Formal approaches to epistemology either proceed axiomatically or concentrate on learning and knowledge acquisition issues. The traditions have proceeded largely in isolation from one another. Learning theorists do not formalize knowledge as a modal operator, modal logicians have only recently begun to care about intuitive interpretations of their calculi, and those who would find intuitive definitions of knowledge focus on narrowly folksy examples rather than on scientific method. Such is the fragmented state of epistemology today.

Modal operator theory denotes the cocktail obtained by mixing alethic, tense and epistemic logic with concepts drawn from formal learning theory in order to study the limiting validity of convergent knowledge. It turns out that modal operator theory is a natural setting for activating epistemology in terms of (1) combining knowledge acquisition/learning with the modal logical approach (2) unifying mainstream epistemological themes with the formal epistemological apparatus.


Vincent F. Hendricks
Department of Philosophy and Science Studies
Roskilde University, P6, DK4000 Roskilde, Denmark

Vincent F. Hendricks, PhD, Associate Professor of Epistemology, Logic and Methodology at the Department of Philosophy and Science Studies, Roskilde University, Denmark. In one of his recent books, The Convergence of Scientific Knowledge (Studia Logica: Trends on Logic Series, Kluwer, 2001), he develops modal operator. Hendricks is additionally the author of a variety of articles on epistemology, logic and methodology and editor of a series of books on epistemic logic, proof theory, probability theory, self-reference and the philosophy of mathematics. He is the founder and director of PHILOG - The Danish Network for Philosophical Logic and Its Applications, and founder and editor of PHINEWS - The Free Newsletter for Philosophical Logic and its Applications (now sponsored by Kluwer).

For more information, please visit:

Please note that this newsitem has been archived, and may contain outdated information or links.