X-2008-08: Obligationes: Making an interactive website around a medieval game.

X-2008-08: Cornelisse, Irma and Mast, Patrick and Smid, Ricus and Smits, Djura (2008) Obligationes: Making an interactive website around a medieval game. [Report]

[thumbnail of Full Text]
Text (Full Text)

Download (554kB) | Preview
[thumbnail of Abstract] Text (Abstract)

Download (2kB)


This report will describe what we did to implement the game
obligationes and to get it on the web. Before we can describe this, it
has to be explained what the game obligationes actually is.

What is obligationes?

Obligationes (or "obligations") is a formal disputation form that was
widespread in medieval Europe. The earliest writings on obligations
date from the beginning of the thirteenth century, but the theoretical
roots can probably be found much earlier, assumably in Aristotle's
"Topics". Obligationes can be viewed as a game between two players,
the opponent (opponens) and the respondent (respondens). The opponent
puts forward some hypothesis and the respondent decides whether he
denies or admits the hypothesis. In the first case the game doesn't
start, in the latter case the game is on its way. The opponent puts
forward questions (propositions) that may or may not relate directly
to the hypothesis. The respondent answers these questions with 'I
concede', ' I deny' or 'I doubt it'. This is where the name of the
game comes in: both players are obliged to follow a very strict set of
rules that determine how a question should be answered according to
both the hypothesis, the propositions already put forward and the real
world. When the respondent follows these rules closely, he or she can
maintain a consistent 'world' that follows logically from the original
hypothesis. The goal for the opponent is to trick the respondent in
'responding badly' within the game time that the players agreed
upon. When the game time is up or when the respondent has responded
badly, the opponent ends the game by saying "cedat tempus".

One interesting aspect of this logical game is that, while it is clear
that obligationes were widespread and heavily discussed from the
thirteenth century on, the actual purpose of the game remains unclear.

There are many versions of the game, but we will work on two versions:
positio and dubitatio. In positio, the first fact (the hypothesis) has
to be held true through the game. In dubitatio, the first fact has to
be held in doubt through the game.

Our goal

Our goal is to implement positio and dubitatio, so that a player can
act as the respondent, and the computer plays the opponent. This
implementation, along with extra information about the game, has to be
accessible via a website. Furthermore, other students should be able
to implement their own versions of the different games and add it to
the website.

Item Type: Report
Report Nr: X-2008-08
Series Name: Technical Notes (X) Series
Year: 2008
Uncontrolled Keywords: obligationes; AI; positio; dubitatio
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2016 14:38
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2016 14:38
URI: https://eprints.illc.uva.nl/id/eprint/672

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item