Rationality and Comprehension

Avishai Margalit
Menahem E. Yaari

Devising a theory of knowledge for interacting agents has been on many people's minds recently. A near consensus has emerged, that the appropriate framework is a multi-agent version of C.I. Lewis's system S5 or one of S5's standard weakenings. In this essay, it is argued that such a framework cannot possibly be adequate, if it is to capture the intricacies of genuine inter-agent epistemics. Introducing a notion of "comprehension" -- knowledge which is non-sensory yet non-analytic -- may possibly be a remedy.

February, 1994
Published in: 
In K. J. Arrow, E. Colombatto, M. Perlman & C. Schmidt (eds.), The Rational Foundations of Economic Behavior, (1996) Macmillan, Basingstoke and London, 89-100