Three views of common knowledge
This paper investigates the relationships between three different views of common knowledge: the iterate approach, the fixed point approach, and the shared environment approach. We show that no two of these approaches are equivalent, contrary to accepted wisdom. We agree that the fixed point is the best conceptual analysis of the pretheoretic notion, but that the shared environment approach has its own role to play in understanding how common knowledge is used.We also discuss the assumption under which various versions of the iterate approach are equivalent to the fixed point approach. We find that, for common knowledge, these assumptions are false, but that for simply having information, the assumptions are not so implausible, at least in the case of finite situations.
Barwise, J. (2016)., Three views of common knowledge, in H. Arló-Costa, V. F. Hendricks & J. Van Benthem (eds.), Readings in formal epistemology, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 759-772.
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