Living in a social world, we acquire information and knowledge, and also, we constantly form opinions that are the basis for our decisions and actions. The way these informational processes work is through agents interacting and influencing each other in social networks with a variety of social relations. Understanding social networks is the key to a logical understanding of the laws of information flow and the evolution of opinions. This project studies both the basic attitudes and the basic actions in social agency: epistemic states, and agents’ behaviors. By using the latest logical systems, and where relevant, developing new ones, we study many central phenomena in social networks, the underlying rules that govern agents’ reasoning, as well as dynamical changes of individual agents and groups in both epistemic and behavioral senses. In addition to tools from logic, methods from computer science, game theory, and other fields will be adopted whenever needed.
The project approaches its general theme via four main subprojects: “Logic of social structure and social influence”, “Belief revision guided by evidence and trust”, “Modeling formation and dynamics of social norms”, “Strategical reasoning in social networks” that will work in parallel, but whose results wil feed into each other.
This project is led by Fenrong Liu, supported by the Major Program of the National Social Science Foundation of China, No. 17ZDA026. There are over 20 investigators involved across China and abroad, with Johan van Benthem, Xinwen Liu, Beishui Liao, and Jeremy Seligman as subproject leaders.