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Propositional relevance through letter-sharing

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The concept of relevance between classical propositional formulae, defined in terms of letter-sharing, has been around for a long time. But it began to take on a fresh life in the late 1990s when it was reconsidered in the context of the logic of belief change. Two new ideas appeared in independent work of Odinaldo Rodrigues and Rohit Parikh: the relation of relevance was considered modulo the choice of a background belief set, and the belief set was put into a canonical form, called its finest splitting. In the first part of this paper, we recall the ideas of Rodrigues and Parikh, and show that they yield equivalent definitions of what may be called canonical cell/path relevance. The second part presents the main new result of the paper: while the relation of canonical relevance is syntax-independent in the usual sense of the term, it nevertheless remains language-dependent in a deeper sense, as is shown with an example. The final part of the paper turns to questions of application, where we present a new concept of parameter-sensitive relevance that relaxes the Rodrigues/Parikh definition, allowing it to take into account extra-logical sources as well as purely logical ones.

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