Ignorance as an excuse, formally (Ekaterina Kubyshkina)

The Logic and Metaphysics Workshop will meet on February 14th from 4:15-6:15 (NY time) via Zoom for a talk by Ekaterina Kubyshkina (Campinas).

Title: Ignorance as an excuse, formally

Abstract: In the current literature on epistemology there is a lively debate on which type of ignorance may provide a moral excuse. A good candidate is the one in which an agent has never considered or thought about a true proposition p. From a logical perspective, it is usual to model situations involving ignorance by means of epistemic logic. However, no formal analysis was provided for ignorance as an excuse. First, we will argue that if ignorance is expressed via standard modalities of knowledge and belief, one is unable to represent ignorance as an excuse. Secondly, we fill this gap by providing an original logical setting for modelling this type of ignorance. In particular, we introduce a complete and sound logic in which ignorance is expressed as a primitive modality. Semantically, the logic is characterized by Kripke semantics with possibly incomplete worlds. Moreover, in order to consider the conditions of a possible change of an agent’s ignorance, we will extend the setting by considering public announcements.

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