Journal of Applied non-Classical Logics vol:21 issue:3-4 pages:375-395
The aim of this paper is to initiate a systematic exploration of the model theory of epistemic plausibility models (EPMs). There are two subtly different definitions in the literature: one by van Benthem and one by Baltag and Smets. Because van Benthem’s notion is the most general, most of the paper is dedicated to this notion. We focus on the notion of bisimulation, and show that the most natural generalization of bisimulation to van Benthem-type
EPMs fails. We then introduce parametrized bisimulations, and prove various bisimulation-implies-equivalence theorems, a Hennessy-Milner theorem, and several (un)definability results. We discuss the problems arising from the fact that these bisimulations are syntax-dependent (and thus not fully structural), and we present and compare two different ways of coping with this issue: adding a modality to the language, and putting extra constraints on the models. We argue that the most successful solution involves restricting to uniform and locally connected (van Benthem-type) EPMs: for this subclass the intuitively most natural notion of bisimulation and the technically sound notion coincide. Such EPMs turn out to correspond exactly with Baltag/Smets-type EPMs, which can be interpreted as constituting a methodological argument, favoring Baltag and Smets’s definition of EPM over that of van Benthem.