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A given question can be defined in terms of the set of statements or assertions that answer it. Application of logical inference to these sets of assertions allows one to derive the logic of inquiry among questions. There are interesting symmetries between the logics of inference and inquiry; where probability describes the degree to which a premise implies an assertion, there exists an analogous measure that describes the bearing or relevance that a question has on an outstanding issue. These have been extended to suggest that the logic of inquiry results in functional relationships analogous to, although more general than, those found in information theory. Employing lattice theory, I examine in greater detail the structure of the space of assertions and questions demonstrating that the symmetries between the logical relations in each of the spaces derive directly from the lattice structure. Furthermore, I show that while symmetries between the spaces exist, the two lattices are not isomorphic. The lattice of assertions is described by a Boolean lattice 2\textasciicircumN, whereas the lattice of assuredly real questions is shown to be a sublattice of the free distributive lattice 2\textasciicircum(2\textasciicircumN). Thus there does not exist a one-to-one mapping of assertions to questions, there is no reflection symmetry between the two spaces, and questions in general do not possess complements. Last, with these lattice structures in mind, I discuss the relationship between probability, relevance, and entropy.

@article{knuth_what_2004, title = {What is a {Question}?}, volume = {659}, url = {http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0403089}, doi = {10.1063/1.1570546}, abstract = {A given question can be defined in terms of the set of statements or assertions that answer it. Application of logical inference to these sets of assertions allows one to derive the logic of inquiry among questions. There are interesting symmetries between the logics of inference and inquiry; where probability describes the degree to which a premise implies an assertion, there exists an analogous measure that describes the bearing or relevance that a question has on an outstanding issue. These have been extended to suggest that the logic of inquiry results in functional relationships analogous to, although more general than, those found in information theory. Employing lattice theory, I examine in greater detail the structure of the space of assertions and questions demonstrating that the symmetries between the logical relations in each of the spaces derive directly from the lattice structure. Furthermore, I show that while symmetries between the spaces exist, the two lattices are not isomorphic. The lattice of assertions is described by a Boolean lattice 2{\textasciicircum}N, whereas the lattice of assuredly real questions is shown to be a sublattice of the free distributive lattice 2{\textasciicircum}(2{\textasciicircum}N). Thus there does not exist a one-to-one mapping of assertions to questions, there is no reflection symmetry between the two spaces, and questions in general do not possess complements. Last, with these lattice structures in mind, I discuss the relationship between probability, relevance, and entropy.}, language = {en}, urldate = {2015-11-16TZ}, journal = {arXiv preprint physics/0403089}, author = {Knuth, Kevin H.}, year = {2004}, note = {00000}, pages = {227--242} }

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