Tools from logic and mathematics have played a central role in models of human beliefs, of human desires and preferences and indeed the actions which are based on them. However, beliefs, preferences and perhaps even desires change. Thus the development, which has been greatly accelerated in recent times, of extensions of the logical and mathematical techniques to account for the problems of change. However, as different paradigms (AGM theory and dynamic logic in the 'logic' camp, Bayesian update and Jeffrey conditionalisation in the probability camp, to take just a few examples of theories of belief change) jostle to impose themselves, it is perhaps the moment to take a step back and ask: what do we want from a theory of change?
This question—as philosophical and methodological as it is technical—is at the heart of this colloquium / workshop. The aim is to bring together specialists working on the problem of attitude change, from a wide range of paradigms, to present and discuss their views on the objectives of theories of change. The ambition is to identify the main issues for theories of change, and clarify the major positions one could hold concerning the project of understanding or modelling attitude change.
Relevant questions include:
What are the criteria for evaluating theories / models of change? To what extent to current theories satisfy these criteria?
What are the consequences of understanding these questions descriptively rather than normatively?
What is the relationship between belief change and utility / preference change?
What is the relationship between the problem of attitude change and the general problem of rational action?
What are the different types of change? Is there an important difference between change and learning? Between sudden and gradual change? Are there different triggers for different types of change? How are they to be dealt with by the theory?
Can or should one expect a 'general' theory of (eg.) belief revision (covering, for example, the different rules for iterated belief revision)? And a 'general' theory of belief change, integrating methods for informational and factual change (for example, belief revision and belief update)?
What is the importance of completeness results / representation theorems / computational results (establishing, for example, the complexity of different revision methods) etc. for the problem of understanding change?
What role can mathematical tools for dealing with change, eg. the notion of continuity, play in theories of attitude change?
Invited speakers :
Alexandru Baltag (University of Oxford, UK)
Richard Bradley (LSE, UK)
Sven Ove Hansson (Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden)
David Makinson (LSE, UK)
Hans Rott (Universität Regensburg, Germany)
Hans van Ditmarsch (University of Otago, New Zealand & IRIT, France)
Alexandru Baltag, Richard Bradley, Sven Ove Hanssen, Brian Hill, David Makinson, Ondrej Majer, Hans van Ditmarsch
Brian Hill, Ondrej Majer, Michal Peliš