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Publication Date : 2016/12/01

<Hokkaido Summer Institute 2016>”Dynamic Epistemic Logic and its Applications” was held

Japanese version of this article

Dynamic Epistemic Logic and its Applications was one of the classes offered at Hokkaido Summer Institute 2016. It was held for 5 days from August 1st to August 5th.


This class was offered as an advanced course on logic. Its theme was “Dynamic Epistemic Logic,” which has shown remarkable advancements in the past few years. This class was taught collaboratively by researchers invited from overseas and professors of the faculty of letters. Classes were held by combining lectures and seminars, thus allowing students to study proactively.


The first day offered a prime opportunity to students to learn from the long-distance class on logic and formal philosophy taught by Johan van Benthem, who is a world-renowned expert in this field.


Long Distance Class from Amsterdam given by Professor van Benthem


Professor Johan van Benthem
(University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands / Stanford University, U.S.A. / Tsinghua University, China)


Professor van Benthem responds to questions from students

The main instructors of this course were Professor Smets and Dr. Baltag of Amsterdam University. Students attentively listened to the impactful lectures given by these two internationally respected researchers. 


When we communicate with one another, we always consider to some extent what our partners do and do not know, as well as what they know about what we do and do not know. What we do or do not know changes along with the progress of communication and changes in situation.


In dynamic epistemic logic, it is asked what role complicated mutual-knowledge and public knowledge play in communication, how this knowledge changes a person’s behavior and what they say, what effect this will have on the next instantiation of communication and furthermore what problems can occur in the course of such communication. Dynamic epistemic logic takes the clarification and solution of these problems we can find within our daily experience as its theme.


Students in this class dealt with several concrete examples and were thus able to learn to use dynamic epistemic logic to express complicated communication and thought processes, as well as apply this knowledge.



Professor Sonja Smets (University of Amsterdam)
Communication with Bart Simpson, a character from the popular American cartoon “The Simpsons,” is taken up as a concrete example.


Associate Professor Dr. Alexandru Baltag (University of Amsterdam)
says in a friendly manner that he will “Accept questions by email as well.”


Professor Tomoyuki Yamada (Hokkaido University)
is responsible professor for the two courses offered on logic at the 2016 Summer Institute.

According to surveys, this Summer Institute class of “Dynamic Epistemic Logic and its Applications,” was highly evaluated. This class will be continued next year in order to enable students to analyse complicated situation in actual society and understand how to deal with them.


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