Object-Based Unawareness: Axioms

Oliver J. Board, Kim Sau Chung

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


    This paper provides foundations for a model of unawareness, called objectbased unawareness (OBU) structures, that can be used to distinguish between
    what an agent is unaware of and what she simply does not know. At an informal
    level, this distinction plays a key role in a number of papers such as Tirole
    (2009) and Chung & Fortnow (2016). In this paper, we give the model-theoretic
    description of OBU structures by showing how they assign truth conditions to
    every sentence of the formal language used. We then prove a model-theoretic
    sound and completeness theorem, which characterizes OBU structures in terms
    of a system of axioms. We then verify that agents in OBU structures do not
    violate any of the introspection axioms that are generally considered to be
    necessary conditions for a plausible notion of unawareness. Applications are
    provided in our companion paper.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-36
    Number of pages36
    JournalJournal of Mechanism and Institutional Design
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

    User-Defined Keywords

    • Awareness
    • object-based unawareness
    • modal logic


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