Temporal Theories of Reasoning

J. Engelfriet, J. Treur

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In this paper we describe a general way of formalizing reasoning behaviour. Such a behaviour may be described by all the patterns which are valid for the behaviour. A pattern can be seen as a sequence of information states which
describe what has been derived at each time point. A transition from an information state at a point in time to the state at the (or a) next time point is induced by one or more inference steps. We choose to model the information states by partial models and the patterns either by linear time or branching time temporal models. Using temporal logic one can define theories and look at all models of that theory. For a number of examples of reasoning behaviour we have been able to define temporal theories such that its (minimal) models correspond to the valid patterns of the behaviour. These theories prescribe that the inference steps which are possible, are "executed" in the temporal model. The examples indicate that partial temporal logic is a powerful means of describing and formalizing complex reasoning patterns, as the dynamic aspects of reasoning systems are integrated into the static ones in a clear fashion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-261
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Applied Non-Classical Logics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • Dynamics of reasoning
  • Nonmonotonic reasoning
  • Temporal logic


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