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Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

Volume 55, Issue 4, 2018

Oleg A. Domanov
Pages 26-37
DOI: 10.5840/eps201855462

Type Theory in the Semantics of Propositional Attitudes

The article deals with an approach to the analysis of propositional attitudes based on the type-theoretical semantics proposed by A. Ranta and originating from the type theory of P. Martin-Löf. Type-theoretical semantics contains the notion of context and tools of extracting information from it in an explicit form. This allows us to correctly formalize the dependence on contexts typical of propositional attitudes. In the article the context is presented as a dependent sum type (Record type in the proof assistant Coq). Ranta’s approach is refined and applied to the analysis of Quine’s phrase “Ralph believes that someone is a spy”. Three variants of formalization for this phrase are described which differ in the content of contextual knowledge and the way the truth values of the phrase are derived. Contexts are connected through the function of conversion, making it possible to relate truth values. As a result, it is shown that the instruments for working with contexts provided by type-theoretical semantics allow us to avoid the problem of opacity described by Quine. Provided formalization along with proofs is coded in Coq and made freely available.