I wish to learn about Epistemic Modal Logic in a way that's rigorous yet easy$\color{red}{^1}$ to understand. Could you recommend books, courses, or any other relevant resources I could look into?

I have a background in Set Theory, Propositional Logic, First-order Logic, and Basic Modal Logic (I am familiar with the basic modal language, models, model constructions, frames, completeness, etc. My primary reference for this has been Blackburn's Modal Logic - the first four chapters). Happy to provide any other detail necessary.

$\color{red}{1.}$ By "easy", I mean something suited for undergraduate math majors. This isn't a hard requirement though - I am open to all kinds of recommendations!

P.S. Since this question is really specific to Epistemic Logic, in all probability it is not a duplicate.

  • $\begingroup$ To add some texts to those already mentioned in the main answer: The Fagin book is good, but centers around the S5-case and applications to computer science. For the important applications of epistemic logic to AI like autoepistemic logic etc. have a look at van der Hoek and Meyer's book 'Epistemic Logic for AI and Computer Science'. Dynamic Epistemic Logic is covered from the Amsterdam perspective in van Benthem's 'Logical Dynamics of Information and Interaction'. A gentle intro to basic themes can also be found in Humberstone's 'Philosophical Applications of Modal Logic'. $\endgroup$
    – sequitur
    Mar 24, 2021 at 22:32

1 Answer 1


Since you mention that you are OK with the first four chapters of Blackburn's et al. Modal Logic, then, technically, you already know Epistemic Logic (EL), which is essentially S5. A classic textbook on EL, which includes various notions of knowledge, completeness and complexity results, etc. is Reasoning about knowledge by Fagin, Halpern, Moses, and Vardi.

For continuation, I would recommend Dynamic Epistemic Logic (DEL) by Hans van Ditmarsch, Wiebe van der Hoek, and Barteld Kooi. It fits the description of being 'easy yet rigorous' perfectly.

For an overview of topics in EL and relatively recent developments, Handbook of Epistemic Logic is a nice option.

But, tbh, if you tackle DEL, then going straight to papers is the best.

Edit: also, for gentle introduction, I would suggest the corresponding chapters of Modal logic for open minds by Johan van Benthem.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks a lot! I'll take a look at all these resources! $\endgroup$ Mar 21, 2021 at 4:30

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