A Recursive Semantics for Defeasible Reasoning

  • John L. Pollock

One of the most striking characteristics of human beings is their ability to function successfully in complex environments about which they know very little. Reflect on how little you really know about all the individual matters of fact that characterize the world. What, other than vague generalizations, do you know about the apples on the trees of China, individual grains of sand, or even the residents of Cincinnati? But that does not prevent you from eating an apple while visiting China, lying on the beach in Hawaii, or giving a lecture in Cincinnati. Our ignorance of individual matters of fact is many orders of magnitude greater than our knowledge. And the situation does not improve when we turn to knowledge of general facts. Modern science apprises us of some generalizations, and our experience teaches us numerous higher-level although less precise general truths, but surely we are ignorant of most general truths.


Status Assignment Initial Node Default Logic Inference Scheme Defeasible Reasoning 
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© Springer-Verlag US 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • John L. Pollock
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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