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Formalizing Context
(Expanded Notes)

John McCarthy and Sasa Buvac

These notes discuss formalizing contexts   as first class objects.   The basic relations are

  meaning that the proposition p is true in the context c, and
  designating the value of the term e in the context c.

Besides these there are lifting formulas  that relate the propositions and terms in subcontexts to possibly more general propositions and terms in the outer context. Subcontexts are often specialized with regard to time, place and terminology.

Introducing contexts as formal objects will permit axiomatizations in limited contexts to be expanded to transcend   the original limitations. This seems necessary to provide   AI programs using logic with certain capabilities that human fact representation and human reasoning possess. Fully implementing transcendence seems to require further extensions to mathematical logic, i.e. beyond the nonmonotonic inference   methods first invented in AI and now studied as a new domain of logic. gif

Sasa Buvac
Sun Jul 12 14:45:30 PDT 1998