Belief Systems and Partial Spaces

Otavio Bueno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


One important role of belief systems is to allow us to represent information about a certain domain of inquiry. This paper presents a formal framework to accommodate such information representation. Three cognitive models to represent information are discussed: conceptual spaces (Gärdenfors in Conceptual spaces: the geometry of thought. MIT Press, Cambridge, 2000), state-spaces (van Fraassen in Quantum mechanics: an empiricist view. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1991), and the problem spaces familiar from artificial intelligence. After indicating their weakness to deal with partial information, it is argued that an alternative, formulated in terms of partial structures (da Costa and French in Science and partial truth. Oxford University Press, New York, 2003), can be provided which not only captures the positive features of these models, but also accommodates the partiality of information ubiquitous in science and mathematics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFoundations of Science
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 22 2015


  • Belief system
  • Conceptual space
  • Partial space
  • Problem space
  • State-space

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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