Logic, Rationality and Common Sense

Friday June 2, 2017, at CWI

Workshop on the occasion of Jan van Eijck's retirement as researcher at CWI and as professor at ILLC.

The afternoon will consist of:

If you want to take part in any or all of these, please respond by clicking this RSVP link.

Venue is the Turing Room of the Amsterdam Science Park Congress Centre, nextdoor to CWI.

Preliminary Schedule for the Workshop

Social Rationality and (Un)common Sense

This is an invitation to reflection on the successes and failures of collective rationality, particularly as embodied in modern mechanisms for mass information-aggregation-and-exchange (media, markets, democratic voting, social networks, crowdsourcing etc). What are the nature, sources and dynamics of “collective knowledge”? Do the benefits provided by 'the wisdom of the crowds" outweigh the dangers posed by the stupidity or even madness of the crowds (eg. bandwagoning, pluralistic ignorance, group polarization, cascades etc)? Do the above-mentioned aggregation mechanisms fulfil their epistemic promises (helping us acquire relevant information and take better collective decisions), or do they end up creating their own pseudo-reality (as exemplified by echo-chambers, "fake news" and "alternative facts"), leading in the end only to catastrophic mass delusions and self-defeating protest votes?

Can Logic and Philosophy help us understand this dilemma? Can Computer science help us verify and "debug" our social software, diagnose its weaknesses and provide tools for social-informational "mechanism design", that could be used to prevent the worst forms of "group think"?

Can "epistemic democracy" actually work and endure? Will the "facts" (the actual facts) eventually emerge from the noisy networks of irrelevant data, self-confirming rumors and idiosyncratic likes? Or, to put it more bluntly: will truth survive the "information age"?

What Lies in the Future

We present a logic with announcements to individual agents, wherein agents can change their mind, and wherein your lies become true. For more information, see the section 'Private Lies' of the manuscript entitled 'True Lies', available on arXiv.

Towards Logics of Logical Disagreement

The world is rife with disagreement. Many disagreements are due to lack of mutual comprehension and some of this incomprehension results from the fact that people take different things for granted. An extreme form of this comes about when the very principles of rationality are no longer shared and agents draw their inferences on the basis of different and mutually incompatible frameworks of reason. At first blush it may seem that in such situations all meaningful communication must necessarily break down, but that is far too pessimistic. It certainly is not always the case that people who do not agree on basic rationality misunderstand one another, as it is possible to reason about another person's reasoning. In this talk I will explore logical ways of modelling an abstract form of this. In particular I will define a logic in which it is possible that two agents are reasoners on the basis of incompatible logics, while one can still reason about the beliefs the other should have, given some of the latter's explicit beliefs and the reasoning principles he or she is committed to.

Being of two minds: Theory of mind in turn-taking games

Game theory is pretty clear about it -- as Aumann showed, under the assumption of common knowledge of rationality, turn-taking games of perfect information end up in the backward induction outcome. But what do people do when they actually play such turn-taking games, for example, when they are told that they are playing against a perfectly rational computer opponent? To which extent does a participant in a game experiment employ theory of mind, the ability to reason about what the opponent plans to do and about what the opponent thinks the participant believes and plans to do? What if the opponent acts in a seemingly irrational way -- will a participant try to rationalize the opponent as far as possible? And is there any role for the players' hearts, not only their minds?

The Groundless Ground and the Nature of (M/J)an

How did we get here? Our genesis is coinitial with human cooperation. Intentionality cannot exist without a possibility to share it. We need a constantly shifting common space in order to be. This common space cannot be understood in a well-founded way: it is the groundless ground of communication.

Is this groundless ground the ground that Jan is going to live on after his retirement? Mu.

Surprise Presentation + Farewell Lecture

Logic, Rationality and Common Sense

About the Workshop

Reflections on the possibilities and the limitations of applications of logic to the analysis of human behaviour.

The workshop is intended to create a space to talk about issues that are not often addressed in public in scientific circles.



Specific questions (this list can be extended ad libitum):


Links

Living in Truth

Discourses on Social Software

Truth Seeking, Democracy, and Freedom of Thought and Expression

Three Challenges for the Web


Background Literature (and sources of inspiration)

Tetralogue

Tetralogue

Discourses on Social Software

Discourses on Social Software

Mistakes were made (but not by me)

Mistakes were made (but not by me)

Attempt to Live in Truth

Attempt to Live in Truth

Summer Meditations

Summer Meditations

Infostorms: Why do we 'like'?

Infostorms: Why do we 'like'?

The World We Have

The World We Have

The World as It Is

The World as It Is

Money and Sustainability

Money and Sustainability

Sustainable Energy

Sustainable Energy