Playing cards with Hintikka An introduction to dynamic epistemic logic

H. P. Ditmarsch, W. Van Der Hoek, B. P. Kooi


This contribution is a gentle introduction to so-called dynamic epistemic logics, that can describe how agents change their knowledge and beliefs. We start with a concise introduction to epistemic logic, through the example of one, two and finally three players holding cards; and, mainly for the purpose of motivating the dynamics, we also very summarily introduce the concepts of general and common knowledge. We then pay ample attention to the logic of public announcements, wherein agents change their knowledge as the result of public announcements. One crucial topic in that setting is that of unsuccessful updates: formulas that become false when announced. The Moore-sentences that were already extensively discussed at the conception of epistemic logic in Hintikka’s ‘Knowledge and Belief ’ (1962) give rise to such unsuccessful updates. After that, we present a few examples of more complex epistemic updates.

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