Two models of unawareness: Comparing the object-based and the subjective-state-space approaches

Oliver J. Board, Kim Sau Chung*, Burkhard C. Schipper

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Over the past 20 years or so, a small but growing literature has emerged with the aim of modeling agents who are unaware of certain things. In this paper we compare two different approaches to modeling unawareness: the object-based approach of Board and Chung (Object-based unawareness: theory and applications. University of Minnesota, Mimeo, 2008) and the subjective-state-space approach of Heifetz et al. (J Econ Theory 130:78-94, 2006). In particular, we show that subjective-state-space models (henceforth HMS structures) can be embedded within object-based models (henceforth OBU structures), demonstrating that the latter are at least as expressive. As long as certain restrictions are imposed on the form of the OBU structure, the embedding can also go the other way. A generalization of HMS structures (relaxing the partitional properties of knowledge) gives us a full converse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-34
Number of pages22
Issue numberSuppl. 1
Early online date1 Dec 2010
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Philosophy
  • Social Sciences(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Object-based approach
  • Subjective-state-space approach
  • Unawareness


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