Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Reasons: belief support and goal dynamics

Cristiano Castelfranchi


The paper is devoted to the structural relations between beliefs and goals. I discuss its importance in modeling cognitive agents; its origin in cognitive processing; its structure (belief structure relative to a goal); its crucial role in rationality, mediating between “epistemic” and “pragmatic” rationality; its role in goal Dynamics. I stress the crucial contribution of the supporting beliefs to the Processing of goals; to the Revision of goals (or Dynamics in a narrow sense), i.e. the change of goal either on the basis of the change of a dynamic external environment, or of internal cycles of the agent; and to the Typology of goals, that may be partially characterized just on the basis of their belief structure. In particular, I will analyse in this paper the role of beliefs in the Processing of goals, from their firing to their satisfaction or giving up: how beliefs determine such a process step by step. This paper will not give a complete or formal account of any of those aspects. It is more an exploratory paper, which tries to identifiy basic ontological categories and principles, and fruitful directions of analysis for modeling the relation between beliefs and goals.

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