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Publication Details

Rational Interaction As The Basis For Communication

by Cohen, Phil R. and Levesque, Hector J.

Technical Note 433
Institution: AI Center, SRI International
Address: 333 Ravenswood Ave., Menlo Park, CA 94025
Apr 1988.

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Abstract

This paper derives the basis of a theory of communication from a formal theory of rational interaction. The major result is a demonstration that illocutionary acts need neither be primitive, nor explicitly recognized. As a test case, we derive Searle’s conditions on requesting from principles of rationality coupled with a theory of imperatives. The theory rests on a formal account of intention and distinguishes insincere or nonserious imperatives from true requests. A theory of purposeful communication thus emerges as a consequence of principles of action and interaction.

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