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The Strength of Desires: a Logical Approach

Dubois, Didier and Lorini, Emiliano and Prade, Henri The Strength of Desires: a Logical Approach. (2017) Minds and Machines, 27 (1). 199-231. ISSN 0924-6495

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11023-017-9426-5

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to propose a formal approach to reasoning about desires, understood as logical propositions which we would be pleased to make true, also acknowledging the fact that desire is a matter of degree. It is first shown that, at the static level, desires should satisfy certain principles that differ from those to which beliefs obey. In this sense, from a static perspective, the logic of desires is different from the logic of beliefs. While the accumulation of beliefs tend to reduce the remaining possible worlds they point at, the accumulation of desires tends to increase the set of states of affairs tentatively considered as satisfactory. Indeed beliefs are expected to be closed under conjunctions, while, in the positive view of desires developed here, one can argue that endorsing φ∨ψ as a desire means to desire φ and to desire ψ. However, desiring φ and ¬φ at the same time is not usually regarded as rational, since it does not make much sense to desire one thing and its contrary at the same time. Thus when a new desire is added to the set of desires of an agent, a revision process may be necessary. Just as belief revision relies on an epistemic entrenchment relation, desire revision is based on a hedonic entrenchment relation satisfying other properties, due to the different natures of belief and desire. While epistemic entrenchment relations are known to be qualitative necessity relations (in the sense of possibility theory), hedonic relations obeying a set of reasonable postulates correspond to another set-function in possibility theory, called guaranteed possibility, that drive well-behaved desire revision operations. Then the general framework of possibilistic logic provides a syntactic setting for encoding desire change. The paper also insists that desires should be carefully distinguished from goals.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to Springer editor. The original PDF can be found at "Minds and Machines : Journal for Artificial Intelligence, Philosophy and Cognitive Science" website : https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11023-017-9426-5
HAL Id:hal-02950807
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
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Institution:Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse - Jean Jaurès - UT2J (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - UT1 (FRANCE)
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Deposited On:15 Jun 2020 12:04

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