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  1. "If Oswald Had Not Killed Kennedy" – Spohn on Counterfactuals.Hans Rott - 2016 - In Wolfgang Freitag, Hans Rott, Holger Sturm & Alexandra Zinke (eds.), Von Rang und Namen. Philosophical Essays in Honour of Wolfgang Spohn. Münster, Germany: Mentis. pp. 379–399.
    Wolfgang Spohn's theory of ranking functions is an elegant and powerful theory of the structure and dynamics of doxastic states. In two recent papers, Spohn has applied it to the analysis of conditionals, claiming to have presented a unified account of indicative and subjunctive (counterfactual) conditionals. I argue that his analysis fails to account for counterfactuals that refer to indirect causes. The strategy of taking the transitive closure that Spohn employs in the theory of causation is not available for counterfactuals. (...)
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  2. Concessive Conditionals Without Even If and Nonconcessive Conditionals with Even If.Gilberto Gomes - 2020 - Acta Analytica 35 (1):1-21.
    This paper investigates whether 'even if A, B' is pragmatically polysemic, so that a nonconcessive conditional may have 'even if', and whether concessive conditionals, pragmatically defined, can fail to have 'even if' or a non-temporal 'still'. Different paraphrases are used to help elucidate pragmatic meanings. A theory of the pragmatic meanings of concessive and implicative conditionals is presented. The semantic meaning of 'even if' and the question of whether concessive conditionals imply the truth of their consequents are also discussed.
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  3. Anankastic Conditionals Are Still a Mystery.Milo Phillips-Brown - 2019 - Semantics and Pragmatics 12 (13):1-17.
    ‘If you want to go to Harlem, you have to take the A train’ doesn’t look special. Yet a compositional account of its meaning, and the meaning of anankastic conditionals more generally, has proven an enigma. Semanticists have responded by assigning anankastics a unique status, distinguishing them from ordinary indicative conditionals. Condoravdi & Lauer (2016) maintain instead that “anankastic conditionals are just conditionals.” I argue that Condoravdi and Lauer don’t give a general solution to a well-known problem: the problem of (...)
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  4. Pensamento e linguagem nas afirmações condicionais.Gilberto Gomes - 2013 - D.E.L.T.A 1 (29):121-134.
    Conditional assertions are a peculiar language structure that manifests a specific cognitive operation. In order to express it, different languages have found different ways of using verb forms. Primary conditionals are here defined as those that presuppose the possibility of the falsity of both the antecedent and the consequent. In them, the truth of the antecedent appears as a sufficient condition for the truth of the consequent. The truth condition of primary conditionals is defined as the impossibility of the conjunction (...)
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  5. The Dialogical Entailment Task.Niels Skovgaard-Olsen - 2019 - Cognition:104010.
    In this paper, a critical discussion is made of the role of entailments in the so-called New Paradigm of psychology of reasoning based on Bayesian models of rationality (Elqayam & Over, 2013). It is argued that assessments of probabilistic coherence cannot stand on their own, but that they need to be integrated with empirical studies of intuitive entailment judgments. This need is motivated not just by the requirements of probability theory itself, but also by a need to enhance the interdisciplinary (...)
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  6. Norm Conflicts and Conditionals.Niels Skovgaard-Olsen, David Kellen, Ulrike Hahn & Karl Christoph Klauer - 2019 - Psychological Review (5):611-633.
    Suppose that two competing norms, N1 and N2, can be identified such that a given person’s response can be interpreted as correct according to N1 but incorrect according to N2. Which of these two norms, if any, should one use to interpret such a response? In this paper we seek to address this fundamental problem by studying individual variation in the interpretation of conditionals by establishing individual profiles of the participants based on their case judgments and reflective attitudes. To investigate (...)
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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. Non-Epicurean Desires.Fabien Schang - 2016 - Filosofia Unisinos 17 (1):63-68.
    In this paper, it is argued that there can be necessary and non-natural desires. After a discussion about what seems wrong with such desires, Epicurus’ classification of desires is treated similarly to Kripke’s treatment of the Kantian table of judgments. A sample of three cases is suggested to make this point.
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  10. 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 23 (4):449-482.
    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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  11. Motivating the Relevance Approach to Conditionals.Niels Skovgaard-Olsen - 2016 - Mind and Language 31 (5):555-579.
    The aim is to motivate theoretically a relevance approach to 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 for why failures of the epistemic relevance of the antecedent for the consequent should be counted as genuine semantic defects. Furthermore, strategies for dealing with compositionality and the (...)
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  12. 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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  13. Decision Theory, Intelligent Planning and Counterfactuals.Michael John Shaffer - 2008 - 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. The Logical Web - Why Most Alternatives to the Material Account Are Ad Hoc.Matheus Silva - manuscript
    The material account of indicative conditionals states that indicative conditional sentences and the material implication have the same truth conditions. Many conditional logics are motivated by attempts to fix the counter-intuitive aspects associated with the material account. Some counter-intuitive instances of classical argumentative forms, e.g., strengthening of the antecedent, contraposition and conditional negation, are regarded as evidences that the material account is wrong and that classical logic should be rejected in favour of a new logic system in which these argumentative (...)
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  2. Directional Bias - Why Most Philosophers (Wrongly) Believe Conditionals Are Not Material.Matheus Silva - manuscript
    There is almost a consensus among philosophers that indicative conditionals are not material. Their thought hinges on the idea that if conditionals were material, A → B could be vacuously true even if the truth of A would lead to the falsity of B. But since this consequence is implausible, the material account must be false. I will argue that this point of view is mistaken, since it is motivated by the grammatical form of conditional sentences and the symbols used (...)
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  3. A Contextualist Defence of the Material Account of Indicative Conditionals.Matheus Silva - manuscript
    The material account of indicative conditionals faces a legion of counterexamples that are the bread and butter in any entry about the subject. For this reason, the material account is widely unpopular among conditional experts. I will argue that this consensus was not built on solid foundations, since these counterexamples are contextual fallacies. They ignore a basic tenet of semantics according to which when evaluating arguments for validity we need to maintain the context constant, otherwise any argumentative form can be (...)
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  4. Indicative Conditionals Are Material - Expanding the Survey.Matheus Martins Silva - manuscript
    The material account of indicative conditionals states that indicative conditional sentences and the material implication have the same truth conditions. Recently, Adam Rieger has carried out a survey of arguments in favour of the material account. In this paper, I extend this survey by presenting yet more arguments for the material account. On top of presenting more arguments, I also want to argue that it is plausible to extend the material account to subjunctive conditionals. For that reason, the arguments here (...)
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  5. Talking About Worlds.Matthew Mandelkern - 2018 - Philosophical Perspectives 32 (1):298-325.
    I explore the logic of the conditional, using credence judgments to argue against Duality and in favor of Conditional Excluded Middle. I then explore how to give a theory of the conditional which validates the latter and not the former, developing a variant on Kratzer (1981)'s restrictor theory, as well as a proposal which combines Stalnaker (1968)'s theory of the conditional with the theory of epistemic modals I develop in Mandelkern 2019a. I argue that the latter approach fits naturally with (...)
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  6. The Spectre of Triviality.Nate Charlow - 2019 - Analysis 79 (4):595-605.
    A spectre haunts the semantics of natural language — the spectre of Triviality. Semanticists (in particular Rothschild 2013; Khoo and Mandelkern 2018a,b) have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre. None, I will argue, have yet succeeded.
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  7. Against Preservation.Matthew Mandelkern & Justin Khoo - 2019 - Analysis 79 (3):424-436.
    Bradley offers a quick and convincing argument that no Boolean semantic theory for conditionals can validate a very natural principle concerning the relationship between credences 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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  8. If P, Then P!Matthew Mandelkern - manuscript
    The Identity principle says that conditionals with the form 'If p, then p' are logical truths. Identity is overwhelmingly plausible, and has rarely been explicitly challenged. But a wide range of conditionals nonetheless invalidate it. I explain the problem, and argue that the culprit is the principle known as Import-Export, which we must thus reject. I then explore how we can reject Import-Export in a way that still makes sense of the intuitions that support it, arguing that the differences between (...)
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  9. Roads to Necessitarianism.Matthew Mandelkern & Daniel Rothschild - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-8.
    We show that each of three natural sets of assumptions about the conditional entails necessitarianism: that anything possible is necessary.
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  10. A 4-Valued Logic of Strong Conditional.Fabien Schang - 2018 - South American Journal of Logic 3 (1):59-86.
    How to say no less, no more about conditional than what is needed? From a logical analysis of necessary and sufficient conditions (Section 1), we argue that a stronger account of conditional can be obtained in two steps: firstly, by reminding its historical roots inside modal logic and set-theory (Section 2); secondly, by revising the meaning of logical values, thereby getting rid of the paradoxes of material implication whilst showing the bivalent roots of conditional as a speech-act based on affirmations (...)
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  11. Content in a Dynamic Context.Una Stojnić - 2019 - Noûs 53 (2):394-432.
    The standing tradition in theorizing about meaning, since at least Frege, identifies meaning with propositions, which are, or determine, the truth-conditions of a sentence in a context. But a recent trend has advocated a departure from this tradition: in particular, it has been argued that modal claims do not express standard propositional contents. This non-propositionalism has received different implementations in expressivist semantics and certain kinds of dynamic semantics. They maintain that the key aspect of interpretation of modal claims is the (...)
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  12. 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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  13. Counterfactual Fallacies.Andrea Iacona - 2011 - Humana Mente 4 (19).
    A widely accepted claim about counterfactuals is that they differ from strict conditionals, that is, there is no adequate representation of them as sentences of the form   . To justify this claim, Stalnaker and Lewis have argued that some fallacious inferences would turn out valid if counterfactuals were so represented. However, their argument has a flaw, as it rests on a questionable assumption about the relation between surface grammar and logical form. Without that assumption, no consequence of the (...)
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  14. 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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  15. Modus Ponens and the Logic of Decision.Nate Charlow - manuscript
    If modus ponens is valid, then you should take up smoking.
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  16. One's Modus Ponens: Modality, Coherence and Logic.Una Stojnić - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (1):167-214.
    Recently, there has been a shift away from traditional truth-conditional accounts of meaning towards non-truth-conditional ones, e.g., expressivism, relativism and certain forms of dynamic semantics. Fueling this trend is some puzzling behavior of modal discourse. One particularly surprising manifestation of such behavior is the alleged failure of some of the most entrenched classical rules of inference; viz., modus ponens and modus tollens. These revisionary, non-truth-conditional accounts tout these failures, and the alleged tension between the behavior of modal vocabulary and classical (...)
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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. 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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  21. Ifs, Ands, and Buts: An Incremental Truthmaker Semantics for Indicative Conditionals.Stephen Yablo - 2016 - Analytic Philosophy 57 (1):175-213.
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  22. Teaching Truth-Functional Conditionals.James Cain - 1999 - APA Newsletter on Teaching Philosophy 98 (2):160-162.
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  23. Contextualism About Deontic Conditionals.Aaron Bronfman & Janice Dowell, J. L. - manuscript
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  24. 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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  25. 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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  26. 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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  27. 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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  28. 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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  29. 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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  30. An Even Simpler Defense of Material Implication.Matheus Silva - manuscript
    Lee Archie argued that if any truth values are consistently assigned to a natural language conditional to which Modus Ponens and Modus Tollens are valid argumentative forms, and affirming the consequent is an invalid argumentative form, this conditional would have the same truth conditions than a material implication. This argument is simple and it requires few assumptions that are relatively uncontroversial. We show that it is possible to extend Archie’s argument to three-valued logics and five-valued logics and vindicate a slightly (...)
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  31. 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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  32. 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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  33. 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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  34. 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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  35. An Indexical Theory of Conditionals.Ken Warmbrōd - 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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  36. 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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  37. 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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1 — 50 / 402