Parikh: Epistemic logic, games and social software

by Yang Liu

CUNY COMPUTER SCIENCE COLLOQUIA
Epistemic Logic, Games and Social Software: some old and new ideas
Rohit Parikh (CUNY)
September 19, 2013, 4:15 PM,
Room 9204/9205, CUNY GC
Abstract. epistemic reasoning has gradually matured from being the domain of philosophers and logicians to becoming relevant also in economics and social science. But theoretical computer science and game theory remain as two of the most powerful tools which epistemologists can wield. Epistemic tools have been used by writers as different from each other as Shakespeare, Shaw and O’Henry. Even the Indian epic Mahabharata contains stories whose main point is epistemic. But more recently there has been technical work devoted to what might be called applied epistemic logic, and CUNY has been one of the leaders. CUNY collaborators include Walter Dean, Cagil Tasdemir and Andreas Witzel. Eric Pacuit, who got his doctorate from CUNY some years ago, has now become a household word in epistemic circles. And Artemov’s own interest in Game theory has a very strong epistemic flavor. There are also very important questions about the extent to which epistemic considerations enter into animal behavior. Major figures like Peter Godfrey-Smith and Robert Lurz at CUNY have contributed to this field which began with some questions raised by Premack and Woodruff at U. Penn. We cannot possibly do justice to all this work in a single talk but will try to give a bird’s eye view and indicate one or two “cute” results.