Exploring the Reality of the Knowledge Level: Pragmatism Embodied

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Young, Jeremy




Allen Newell's Knowledge Level (KL) theory is a philosophical position on the reality of knowledge best understood through Pragmatism—specifically, the view that the practical effects of general concepts are indelibly linked with the reality of those concepts. The reality of the KL is context-dependent and task-specific based on its practical effect—goal attainment. The patterns it identifies are real, because they endure and are interpretable across individuals. The reality of these patterns links the KL to similar theories describing behavior.

Viewing the KL as real enables more precise testing of cognitive theories by computationally modeling the mechanisms they explain. The KL elucidates the dynamic role values play in the use of knowledge to achieve goals and how goals are re-prioritized in light of as new knowledge. This has applications to predictive behavioral analysis because it shows how manipulation of agent's knowledge and/or goals enables influence, deception, and propaganda efforts.


Psychology - Behavioral




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Cognitive Science: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Cognitive Science

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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