Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP)

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Talk: Ekaterina Kubyshkina (State University of Campinas) and Mattia Petrolo (Federal University of ABC)

Location: Ludwigstr. 31, ground floor, Room 021.

23.01.2020 16:00  – 18:00 


The Dark side of Knowledge


In the literature on epistemic logic and knowledge representation, ignorance is traditionally conceived simply as the other, “dark” side of knowledge. More precisely, ignorance coincides with non-knowledge, and knowledge with non-ignorance, which means that ignorance is the complement to the notion of knowledge. Such a view is today dubbed Standard View. There exist, nonetheless, another epistemological approach to analyzing the notion of ignorance, the so-called New View, that defines ignorance as the absence of true belief. One of the main differences between the two approaches lies in rejecting (Standard View) or in accepting (New View) the factivity of ignorance, i.e., if an agent is ignorant of a proposition, then this proposition is true. The aim of the talk is twofold. First, we provide a criticism of the Standard View in favor of the New View. However, one major shortcoming of the New View in its current form lies in its lack of a precise formal representation. Our second aim is to fulfill this lacuna by providing a formal setting to represent the notion of factive ignorance in accordance with the New View. In particular, we introduce a logic in which ignorance is represented by a factive and primitive modal operator, that is not definable by the use of standard operator of knowledge, and show its adequacy with respect to possible worlds semantics.