Ranking Theory

In Markus Knauff & Wolfgang Spohn (eds.), The Handbook of Rationality. pp. 337-345 (2021)
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Ranking theory is one of the salient formal representations of doxastic states. It differs from others in being able to represent belief in a proposition (= taking it to be true), to also represent degrees of belief (i.e. beliefs as more or less firm), and thus to generally account for the dynamics of these beliefs. It does so on the basis of fundamental and compelling rationality postulates and is hence one way of explicating the rational structure of doxastic states. Thereby it provides foundations for accounts of defeasible or nonmonotonic reasoning. It has widespread applications in philosophy, it proves to be most useful in Artificial Intelligence, and it has started to find applications as a model of reasoning in psychology.

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Niels Skovgaard-Olsen
University of Freiburg


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