Towards a Logical Theory of Practical Reasoning

Richmond H. Thomason

From the very beginning, logicians have counted practical (or action-oriented) reasoning as well as theoretical (or belief-oriented) reasoning as part of their subject. However, despite a tradition that continues to the present, logicians have not produced formalisms that could be considered of any use in designing an agent that needs to act intelligently, or in helping an intelligent agent to evaluate its reasoning about action. In contrast, the decision-theoretic paradigm that grew out of the economic tradition is widely applied in many areas, including AI, and has dominated recent philosophical thinking about practical reasoning, without serious competition from the logical tradition.


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