Predicate Change

Corina Strößner
2020 Journal of Philosophical Logic  
Like belief revision, conceptual change has rational aspects. The paper discusses this for predicate change. We determine the meaning of predicates by a set of imaginable instances, i.e., conceptually consistent entities that fall under the predicate. Predicate change is then an alteration of which possible entities are instances of a concept. The recent exclusion of Pluto from the category of planets is an example of such a predicate change. In order to discuss predicate change, we define a
more » ... adic predicate logic with three different kinds of lawful belief: analytic laws, which hold for all possible instances; doxastic laws, which hold for the most plausible instances; and typicality laws, which hold for typical instances. We introduce predicate changing operations that alter the analytic laws of the language and show that the expressive power is not affected by the predicate change. One can translate the new laws into old laws and vice versa. Moreover, we discuss rational restrictions of predicate change. These limit its possible influence on doxastic and typicality laws. Based on the results, we argue that predicate change can be quite conservative and sometimes even hardly recognisable. Definition 6 (Connectives) The connectives of classical propositional logic can be used to combine D and A laws: If φ and ψ are sentences of AD, then ¬φ, φ ∧ ψ, and φ ∨ ψ are sentences of AD. Predicate Change...
doi:10.1007/s10992-020-09552-x fatcat:l46ppl4clzbungzqkquenqexwa