Speaker: Andrew Withy (Philosophy)
Topic: Truth is never enough.
When: 2:30-3:30, Tuesday 24 September
Where: Room 5115, OGGB

Humans always bear in mind more factors than simply truth when deciding what to say, which theorems to prove, or which conclusions to draw from a data set. Standard reasoning models treat all conclusions from valid arguments equally, while humans show distinct preferences for simple, consistent, and informative conclusions. I will introduce some formal information norms, and discuss their relationship with a class of intuitive syntactic preference relations over conclusions. One surprising ‘co-incidence’ is that the diverse and seemingly unrelated properties of ceteris paribus informativity, equilinear distributivity, propositional inclusion, and deductive finitude appear to be equivalent under these norms. Time permitting, some practical consequences of these norms will be sketched, as well as applications in linguistic pragmatics or philosophy of science, depending on audience interest.