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  1. Disjunctive Antecedent Conditionals.Justin Khoo - forthcoming - Synthese.
    Disjunctive antecedent conditionals (DACs)—conditionals of the form if A or B, C—sometimes seem to entail both of their simplifications (if A, C; if B, C) and sometimes seem not to. I argue that this behavior reveals a genuine am- biguity in DACs. Along the way, I discuss a new observation about the role of focal stress in distinguishing the two interpretations of DACs. I propose a new theory, according to which the surface form of a DAC underdetermines its logical form: (...)
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  2. Counteridenticals.Alexander W. Kocurek - 2018 - The Philosophical Review 127 (3):323-369.
    A counteridentical is a counterfactual with an identity statement in the antecedent. While counteridenticals generally seem non-trivial, most semantic theories for counterfactuals, when combined with the necessity of identity and distinctness, attribute vacuous truth conditions to such counterfactuals. In light of this, one could try to save the orthodox theories either by appealing to pragmatics or by denying that the antecedents of alleged counteridenticals really contain identity claims. Or one could reject the orthodox theory of counterfactuals in favor of a (...)
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  3. Relevance Differently Affects the Truth, Acceptability, and Probability Evaluations of “and”, “but”, “Therefore”, and “If–Then”.Niels Skovgaard-Olsen, David Kellen, Hannes Krahl & Karl Christoph Klauer - 2017 - Thinking and Reasoning (4).
    In this study we investigate the influence of reason-relation readings of indicative conditionals and ‘and’/‘but’/‘therefore’ sentences on various cognitive assessments. According to the Frege-Grice tradition, a dissociation is expected. Specifically, differences in the reason-relation reading of these sentences should affect participants’ evaluations of their acceptability but not of their truth value. In two experiments we tested this assumption by introducing a relevance manipulation into the truth-table task as well as in other tasks assessing the participants’ acceptability and probability evaluations. Across (...)
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  4. Ranking Theory and Conditional Reasoning.Niels Skovgaard-Olsen - 2016 - Cognitive Science 40 (4):848-880.
    Ranking theory is a formal epistemology that has been developed in over 600 pages in Spohn's recent book The Laws of Belief, which aims to provide a normative account of the dynamics of beliefs that presents an alternative to current probabilistic approaches. It has long been received in the AI community, but it has not yet found application in experimental psychology. The purpose of this paper is to derive clear, quantitative predictions by exploiting a parallel between ranking theory and a (...)
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  5. Decision Theory, Intelligent Planning and Counterfactuals.Michael J. Shaffer - 2009 - Minds and Machines 19 (1):61-92.
    The ontology of decision theory has been subject to considerable debate in the past, and discussion of just how we ought to view decision problems has revealed more than one interesting problem, as well as suggested some novel modifications of classical decision theory. In this paper it will be argued that Bayesian, or evidential, decision-theoretic characterizations of decision situations fail to adequately account for knowledge concerning the causal connections between acts, states, and outcomes in decision situations, and so they are (...)
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Truth-Conditional Accounts of Indicative Conditionals
  1. On Stalnaker's "Indicative Conditionals".Fabrizio Cariani - forthcoming - In Louise McNally, Yael Sharvit & Zoltan Szabo (eds.), Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy, Vol 100. Springer.
    This paper is a guide to the main ideas and innovations in Robert Stalnaker's "Indicative Conditionals". The paper is for a volume of essays on twenty-one classics of formal semantics edited by Louise McNally, Yael Sharvit and Zoltàn Gendler Szabò.
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  2. Against Preservation.Matthew Mandelkern & Justin Khoo - forthcoming - Analysis:any051.
    Richard Bradley offers a quick and convincing argument that no Boolean semantic theory for conditionals can validate a very natural principle concerning the relationship between cre- dences and conditionals. We argue that Bradley’s principle, Preservation, is, in fact, invalid; its appeal arises from the validity of a nearby, but distinct, principle, which we call Local Preservation, and which Boolean semantic theories can non-trivially validate.
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  3. The Case of the Missing ‘If’: Accessibility Relations in Stalnaker’s Theory of Conditionals.Matthew Mandelkern - forthcoming - Semantics and Pragmatics.
    A part of Stalnaker (1968)’s influential theory of conditionals has been neglected, namely the role for an accessibility relation between worlds. I argue that the accessibility relation does not play the role intended for it in the theory as stated, and propose a minimal revision which solves the problem, and brings the theory in line with the formulation in Stalnaker & Thomason 1970.
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  4. Presuppositional Anaphora Is The Sobel Truth.Daniel Dohrn - 2017 - In Salvatore Pistoia-Reda & Filippo Domaneschi (eds.), Linguistic and Psycholinguistic Approaches on Implicatures and Presuppositions. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 199-238.
    Sobel sequences have had a huge impact on the discussion of counterfactuals. They can be composed of conditionals and mere descriptions. What is especially puzzling about them is that they are often felicitously uttered when their reversal is not. Up to now, there is no unified explanation. I examine two strategies. We might begin with conditionals and proceed to descriptions. Or we might begin with descriptions and proceed to conditionals. I argue for the latter variant and outline a universal theory (...)
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  5. The Truth Functional Hypothesis Does Not Imply the Liars Paradox.M. Martins Silva - 2017 - Unisinos Journal of Philosophy 17 (3):1-2.
    The truth-functional hypothesis states that indicative conditional sentences and the material implication have the same truth conditions. Haze (2011) has rejected this hypothesis. He claims that a self-referential conditional, coupled with a plausible assumption about its truth-values and the assumption that the truth-functional hypothesis is true, lead to a liar’s paradox. Given that neither the self-referential conditional nor the assumption about its truth-values are problematic, the culprit of the paradox must be the truth-functional hypothesis. Therefore, we should reject it. In (...)
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  6. In Defense of Brogaard-Salerno Stricture.Matheus Silva - forthcoming - The Reasoner 11 (7).
    Brogaard and Salerno (2008) argued that counter-examples to contraposition, strengthening the antecedent, and hypothetical syllogism involving subjunctive conditionals only seem to work because they involve a contextual fallacy where the context assumed in the premise(s) is illicitly shifted in the conclusion. To avoid such counter-examples they have proposed that the context must remain fixed when evaluating an argument for validity. That is the Brogaard-Salerno Stricture. Tristan Haze (2016), however, has recently objected that intuitively valid argumentative forms such as conjunction introduction (...)
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  7. Triviality For Restrictor Conditionals.Nate Charlow - 2016 - Noûs 50 (3):533-564.
    I present two Triviality results for Kratzer's standard “restrictor” analysis of indicative conditionals. I both refine and undermine the common claim that problems of Triviality do not arise for Kratzer conditionals since they are not strictly conditionals at all.
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  8. Ifs, Ands, and Buts: An Incremental Truthmaker Semantics for Indicative Conditionals.Stephen Yablo - 2016 - Analytic Philosophy 57 (1):175-213.
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  9. Counterfactual Fallacies.Andrea Iacona - 2011 - Humana Mente 4 (19).
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  10. Teaching Truth-Functional Conditionals.James Cain - 1999 - APA Newsletter on Teaching Philosophy 98 (2):160-162.
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  11. Contextualism About Deontic Conditionals.Aaron Bronfman & Janice Dowell, J. L. - manuscript
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  12. What 'If'?William B. Starr - 2014 - Philosophers' Imprint 14.
    No existing conditional semantics captures the dual role of 'if' in embedded interrogatives — 'X wonders if p' — and conditionals. This paper presses the importance and extent of this challenge, linking it to cross-linguistic patterns and other phenomena involving conditionals. Among these other phenomena are conditionals with multiple 'if'-clauses in the antecedent — 'if p and if q, then r' — and relevance conditionals — 'if you are hungry, there is food in the cupboard'. Both phenomena are shown to (...)
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  13. Conditional Preferences and Practical Conditionals.Nate Charlow - 2013 - Linguistics and Philosophy 36 (6):463-511.
    I argue that taking the Practical Conditionals Thesis seriously demands a new understanding of the semantics of such conditionals. Practical Conditionals Thesis: A practical conditional [if A][ought] expresses B’s conditional preferability given A Paul Weirich has argued that the conditional utility of a state of affairs B on A is to be identified as the degree to which it is desired under indicative supposition that A. Similarly, exploiting the PCT, I will argue that the proper analysis of indicative practical conditionals (...)
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  14. On material and logical implication: clarifying some common little mistakes.Renato Mendes Rocha - 2013 - Intuitio 6 (2):239-252.
    The aim of this paper is to clarify the truth-functional interpretation of the logical connective of the material implication. The importance of such clarification lies in the fact that it allows avoiding the supposed paradoxes introduced by C. I. Lewis (1918). I argue that an adequate understanding of the history and purposes of logic is enough to dissolve them away. The defense is based on an exposition of propositional compositionalism. To compare, I also present Stalnaker’s (1968) alternative that seeks to (...)
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  15. Conditionals and Truth Functionality.Rani Lill Anjum - manuscript
    The material interpretation of conditionals is commonly recognized as involving some paradoxical results. I here argue that the truth functional approach to natural language is the reason for the inadequacy of this material interpretation, since the truth or falsity of some pair of statements ‘p’ and ‘q’ cannot per se be decisive for the truth or falsity of a conditional relation ‘if p then q’. This inadequacy also affects the ability of the overall formal system to establish whether or not (...)
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  16. Paul Grice on Indicative Conditionals.Rani Lill Anjum - manuscript
    Grice argues that indicative conditionals ‘if p then q’ have conventional, truth conditional meaning according to the material conditional ‘p  q’. In order to explain away the known paradoxes with this interpretation, he distinguishes between truth conditions and assertion conditions, attempting to demonstrate that the assumed connection between ‘p’ and ‘q’ (the Indirectness Condition) is a conversational implicature; hence a matter only relevant for the assertion conditions of a conditional. This paper argues that Grice fails to demonstrate i) that (...)
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  17. A Uniform Theory of Conditionals.William B. Starr - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (6):1019-1064.
    A uniform theory of conditionals is one which compositionally captures the behavior of both indicative and subjunctive conditionals without positing ambiguities. This paper raises new problems for the closest thing to a uniform analysis in the literature (Stalnaker, Philosophia, 5, 269–286 (1975)) and develops a new theory which solves them. I also show that this new analysis provides an improved treatment of three phenomena (the import-export equivalence, reverse Sobel-sequences and disjunctive antecedents). While these results concern central issues in the study (...)
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  18. An Even Simpler Defense of the Material Implication (Draft).Matheus Silva - manuscript
    Lee Archie argued that if any truth-values are consistently assigned to a natural language conditional for which modus ponens and modus tollens are valid argument forms and affirming the consequent is invalid, this conditional will have the same truth-conditions of a material implication. This argument is simple and it requires few and relatively uncontroversial assumptions. We show that it is possible to extend Archie´s argument to three and five-valued logics and still vindicate the same conclusion. This defense is simpler because (...)
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  19. Austinian Ifs Revisited – And Squared Away with the Equivalence Thesis and the Theory of Conditional Elements.Joseph S. Fulda - 2012 - RASK 36:51-71.
    This paper deals with Austinian ifs of every stripe within classical logic. It is argued that they are truth-functional and the theory of conditional elements is used. Ellipsis is key. Corrects an error in Fulda (2010) in translation and therefore scope. -/- The PDF is made available gratis by the Publisher.
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  20. What's Wrong with Logic?Rani Lill Anjum - 2012 - Argumentos 4 (8).
    The truth functional account of conditional statements ‘if A then B’ is not only inadequate; it eliminates the very conditionality expressed by ‘if’. Focusing only on the truth-values of the statements ‘A’ and ‘B’ and different combinations of these, one is bound to miss out on the conditional relation expressed between them. All approaches that treat conditionals as functions of their antecedents and consequents will end up in some sort of logical atomism where causal matters simply are reduced to the (...)
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  21. Contextualist Solutions to Three Puzzles About Practical Conditionals.Janice Dowell, J. L. - 2012 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, volume 7. Oxford University Press.
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  22. What Zif.Daniel Dohrn - manuscript
    In a series of articles, David Barnett (2006, 2009, 2010) has developed a general theory of conditionals. The grand aim is to reconcile the two main rivals: a suppositional and a truth-conditional view (Barnett 2006, 521). While I confine my critical discussion to counterfactuals, I will give some hints how they might spell trouble for his suppositional view in general.
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  23. An Indexical Theory of Conditionals.Ken Warmbrod - 1981 - Dialogue 20 (4):644-664.
    Language theorists have recently come to have an increasing appreciation for the fact that context contributes heavily in determining our interpretation of what is said. Indeed, it now seems clear that no complete understanding of a natural language is possible without some account of the way in which context affects our interpretation of discourse. In this paper, I will attempt to explore one facet of the language – context relationship, namely, the relation between conditionals and context. The first part of (...)
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  24. Are Necessary and Sufficient Conditions Converse Relations?Gilberto Gomes - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (3):375 – 387.
    Claims that necessary and sufficient conditions are not converse relations are discussed, as well as the related claim that If A, then B is not equivalent to A only if B . The analysis of alleged counterexamples has shown, among other things, how necessary and sufficient conditions should be understood, especially in the case of causal conditions, and the importance of distinguishing sufficient-cause conditionals from necessary-cause conditionals. It is concluded that necessary and sufficient conditions, adequately interpreted, are converse relations in (...)
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  25. If A, Then B Too, but Only If C: A Reply to Varzi.Gilberto Gomes - 2006 - Analysis 66 (2):157–161.
    Varzi (2005) discussed 6 ways of symbolizing the sentence 'If Alf went to the movies then Beth went too, but only if she found a taxi-cab.' In the present reply, a seventh symbolization is offered, along with an analysis of the six alternatives discussed by Varzi.
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  26. Conversation and Conditionals.J. Robert G. Williams - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 138 (2):211 - 223.
    I outline and motivate a way of implementing a closest world theory of indicatives, appealing to Stalnaker's framework of open conversational possibilities. Stalnakerian conversational dynamics helps us resolve two outstanding puzzles for a such a theory of indicative conditionals. The first puzzle -- concerning so-called 'reverse Sobel sequences' -- can be resolved by conversation dynamics in a theoryneutral way: the explanation works as much for Lewisian counterfactuals as for the account of indicatives developed here. Resolving the second puzzle, by contrast, (...)
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Epistemic Accounts of Indicative Conditionals
  1. Credence for Epistemic Discourse.Paolo Santorio - manuscript
    Many recent theories of epistemic discourse exploit an informational notion of consequence, i.e. a notion that defines entailment as preservation of support by an information state. This paper investigates how informational consequence fits with probabilistic reasoning. I raise two problems. First, all informational inferences that are not also classical inferences are, intuitively, probabilistically invalid. Second, all these inferences can be exploited, in a systematic way, to generate triviality results. The informational theorist is left with two options, both of them radical: (...)
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  2. Against Preservation.Matthew Mandelkern & Justin Khoo - forthcoming - Analysis:any051.
    Richard Bradley offers a quick and convincing argument that no Boolean semantic theory for conditionals can validate a very natural principle concerning the relationship between cre- dences and conditionals. We argue that Bradley’s principle, Preservation, is, in fact, invalid; its appeal arises from the validity of a nearby, but distinct, principle, which we call Local Preservation, and which Boolean semantic theories can non-trivially validate.
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  3. Preservation, Commutativity and Modus Ponens: Two Recent Triviality Results.Jake Chandler - 2017 - Mind 126 (502):579-602.
    In a recent pair of publications, Richard Bradley has offered two novel no-go theorems involving the principle of Preservation for conditionals, which guarantees that one’s prior conditional beliefs will exhibit a certain degree of inertia in the face of a change in one’s non-conditional beliefs. We first note that Bradley’s original discussions of these results—in which he finds motivation for rejecting Preservation, first in a principle of Commutativity, then in a doxastic analogue of the rule of modus ponens —are problematic (...)
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  4. Against the Ramsey Test.A. Morton - 2004 - Analysis 64 (4):294-299.
    I argue against the Ramsey test connecting indicative conditionals with conditional probability, by means of examples in which conditional probability is high but the conditional is intuitively implausible. At the end of the paper, I connect these issues to patterns of belief revision.
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  5. Stalnaker’s Thesis in Context.Andrew Bacon - 2015 - Review of Symbolic Logic 8 (1):131-163.
    In this paper I present a precise version of Stalnaker's thesis and show that it is both consistent and predicts our intuitive judgments about the probabilities of conditionals. The thesis states that someone whose total evidence is E should have the same credence in the proposition expressed by 'if A then B' in a context where E is salient as they have conditional credence in the proposition B expresses given the proposition A expresses in that context. The thesis is formalised (...)
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  6. New Surprises for the Ramsey Test.Malte Willer - 2010 - Synthese 176 (2):291 - 309.
    In contemporary discussions of the Ramsey Test for conditionals, it is commonly held that (i) supposing the antecedent of a conditional is adopting a potential state of full belief, and (ii) Modus Ponens is a valid rule of inference. I argue on the basis of Thomason Conditionals (such as ' If Sally is deceiving, I do not believe it') and Moore's Paradox that both claims are wrong. I then develop a double-indexed Update Semantics for conditionals which takes these two results (...)
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  7. Moore-Paradoxical Belief, Conscious Belief and the Epistemic Ramsey Test.John N. Williams - 2012 - Synthese 188 (2):231-246.
    Chalmers and Hájek argue that on an epistemic reading of Ramsey’s test for the rational acceptability of conditionals, it is faulty. They claim that applying the test to each of a certain pair of conditionals requires one to think that one is omniscient or infallible, unless one forms irrational Moore-paradoxical beliefs. I show that this claim is false. The epistemic Ramsey test is indeed faulty. Applying it requires that one think of anyone as all-believing and if one is rational, to (...)
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  8. Tenable Conditionals.J. Robert G. Williams - manuscript
    *This is a project I hope to come back to one day. It stalled, a bit, on the absence of a positive theory of update I could be satisfied with* When should we believe a indicative conditional, and how much confidence in it should we have? Here’s one proposal: one supposes actual the antecedent; and sees under that supposition what credence attaches to the consequent. Thus we suppose that Oswald did not shot Kennedy; and note that under this assumption, Kennedy (...)
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  9. The Ramsey Test and the Indexicality of Conditionals: A Proposed Resolution of Gärdenfors' Paradox.Sten Lindström - 1996 - In André Fuhrmann & Hans Rott (eds.), Logic, Action and Information. de Gruyter.
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  10. The Ramsey Test Revisited.Sten Lindström & Wlodek Rabinowicz - 1995 - In G. Crocco, L. Fariñas del Cerro & A. Herzig (eds.), Conditionals: From Philosophy to Computer Science. Oxford University Press. pp. 131-182.
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  11. Epistemic Conditionals.Ken Warmbrod - 1983 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 64 (3):249-265.
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  12. Conditionals and Indexical Relativism.Brian Weatherson - 2009 - Synthese 166 (2):333-357.
    I set out and defend a view on indicative conditionals that I call “indexical relativism ”. The core of the view is that which proposition is expressed by an utterance of a conditional is a function of the speaker’s context and the assessor’s context. This implies a kind of relativism, namely that a single utterance may be correctly assessed as true by one assessor and false by another.
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Pragmatic Accounts of Indicative Conditionals
  1. Cancellation, Negation, and Rejection.Niels Skovgaard-Olsen, Peter Collins, Karolina Krzyżanowska, Ulrike Hahn & Karl Christoph Klauer - 2019 - Cognitive Psychology 108:42-71.
    In this paper, new evidence is presented for the assumption that the reason-relation reading of indicative conditionals ('if A, then C') reflects a conventional implicature. In four experiments, it is investigated whether relevance effects found for the probability assessment of indicative conditionals (Skovgaard-Olsen, Singmann, and Klauer, 2016a) can be classified as being produced by a) a conversational implicature, b) a (probabilistic) presupposition failure, or c) a conventional implicature. After considering several alternative hypotheses and the accumulating evidence from other studies as (...)
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  2. Logical Expressivism and Logical Relations.Lionel Shapiro - 2018 - In Ondřej Beran, Vojtěch Kolman & Ladislav Koreň (eds.), From Rules to Meanings: New Essays on Inferentialism. New York: Routledge. pp. 179-95.
    According to traditional logical expressivism, logical operators allow speakers to explicitly endorse claims that are already implicitly endorsed in their discursive practice — endorsed in virtue of that practice’s having instituted certain logical relations. Here, I propose a different version of logical expressivism, according to which the expressive role of logical operators is explained without invoking logical relations at all, but instead in terms of the expression of discursive-practical attitudes. In defense of this alternative, I present a deflationary account of (...)
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  3. Motivating the Relevance Approach to Conditionals.Niels Skovgaard-Olsen - 2016 - Mind and Language 31 (5):555–579.
    The aim is to theoretically motivate a relevance approach to (indicative) conditionals in a comparative discussion of the main alternatives. In particular, it will be argued that a relevance approach to conditionals is better motivated than the suppositional theory currently enjoying wide endorsement. In the course of this discussion, an argument will be presented of why failures of the epistemic relevance of the antecedent for the consequent should be counted as genuine semantic defects (as opposed to be relegated to pragmatics). (...)
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  4. Three Types of Conditionals and Their Verb Forms in English and Portuguese.Gilberto Gomes - 2008 - Cognitive Linguistics 19 (2):219-240.
    An examination of conditionals in di¤erent languages leads to a distinction of three types of conditionals instead of the usual two (indicative and subjunctive). The three types can be explained by the degree of acceptance or as-if acceptance of the truth of the antecedent. The labels subjunctive and indicative are shown to be inadequate. So-called indicative conditionals comprise two classes, the very frequent uncertain-fact conditionals and the quite rare accepted-fact conditionals. Uncertain-fact conditionals may have a time shift in contemporary English (...)
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  5. Austinian Ifs Revisited – And Squared Away with the Equivalence Thesis and the Theory of Conditional Elements.Joseph S. Fulda - 2012 - RASK 36:51-71.
    This paper deals with Austinian ifs of every stripe within classical logic. It is argued that they are truth-functional and the theory of conditional elements is used. Ellipsis is key. Corrects an error in Fulda (2010) in translation and therefore scope. -/- The PDF is made available gratis by the Publisher.
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  6. Towards a Radically Pragmatic Theory of If-Conditionals.Gunnar Björnsson - 2011 - In K. P. Turner (ed.), Making Semantics Pragmatic (CRiSPI, Vol. 24). Emerald.
    It is generally agreed that constructions of the form “if P, Q” are capable of conveying a number of different relations between antecedent and consequent, with pragmatics playing a central role in determining these relations. Controversy concerns what the conventional contribution of the if-clause is, how it constrains the pragmatic processes, and what those processes are. In this essay, I begin to argue that the conventional contribution of if-clauses to semantics is exhausted by the fact that these clauses introduce a (...)
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Indicative Conditionals and Conditional Probabilities
  1. Cancellation, Negation, and Rejection.Niels Skovgaard-Olsen, Peter Collins, Karolina Krzyżanowska, Ulrike Hahn & Karl Christoph Klauer - 2019 - Cognitive Psychology 108:42-71.
    In this paper, new evidence is presented for the assumption that the reason-relation reading of indicative conditionals ('if A, then C') reflects a conventional implicature. In four experiments, it is investigated whether relevance effects found for the probability assessment of indicative conditionals (Skovgaard-Olsen, Singmann, and Klauer, 2016a) can be classified as being produced by a) a conversational implicature, b) a (probabilistic) presupposition failure, or c) a conventional implicature. After considering several alternative hypotheses and the accumulating evidence from other studies as (...)
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1 — 50 / 268