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Economics and Economy in the Theory of Belief Revision (Preliminary Report)

Authors
Journal
Electronic Notes in Theoretical Computer Science
1571-0661
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
84
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s1571-0661(04)80842-9
Disciplines
  • Economics

Abstract

Abstract In this paper, I ask to what extent theory revision may be regarded as a branch of cognitive economics. Theory dynamics has long been said to be driven primarily by a concern for “informational economy”. Asking about its descriptive as well as its normative adequacy, we discuss and criticize the idea of informational economy both with respect to theories and with respect to richer structures representing belief states (identified with theory-revision guiding structures). This view is contrasted with an alternative view of cognitve economics that takes theory change to be a problem of rational choice based on complete and transitive preferences. Under this interpretation, theory revision models are indeed amenable to an essentially economic interpretation, but they inherit the criticism that has been levelled against the classical theory of choice in wider contexts.

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