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  1. Valid Arguments as True Conditionals.Andrea Iacona - forthcoming - Mind.
    This paper explores an idea of Stoic descent that is largely neglected nowadays, the idea that an argument is valid when the conditional formed by the conjunction of its premises as antecedent and its conclusion as consequent is true. As it will be argued, once some basic features of our naıve understanding of validity are properly spelled out, and a suitable account of conditionals is adopted, the equivalence between valid arguments and true conditionals makes perfect sense. The account of validity (...)
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  2. Conditionals, Causal Claims and Objectivity.Michał Sikorski - 2020 - Dissertation, Università di Torino
    In my thesis, I develop two distinct themes. The first part of my thesis is devoted to indicative conditionals and approaching them from an empirically informed perspective. In the second part, I am developing classical topics of philosophy of science, specifically, scientific objectivity and the role of values in science, in connection to recent methodological developments, revolving around the Replication Crisis.
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  3. Path Semantics for Indicative Conditionals.Paolo Santorio - 2022 - Mind 131 (521):59-98.
    The literature on indicative conditionals contains two appealing views. The first is the selectional view: on this view, conditionals operate by selecting a single possibility, which is used to evaluate the consequent. The second is the informational view: on this view, conditionals don’t express propositions, but rather impose constraints on information states of speakers. Both views are supported by strong arguments, but they are incompatible on their standard formulations. Hence it appears that we have to choose between mutually exclusive options. (...)
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  4. The Use and Misuse of Counterfactuals in Ethical Machine Learning.Atoosa Kasirzadeh & Andrew Smart - 2021 - In ACM Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency (FAccT 21).
    The use of counterfactuals for considerations of algorithmic fairness and explainability is gaining prominence within the machine learning community and industry. This paper argues for more caution with the use of counterfactuals when the facts to be considered are social categories such as race or gender. We review a broad body of papers from philosophy and social sciences on social ontology and the semantics of counterfactuals, and we conclude that the counterfactual approach in machine learning fairness and social explainability can (...)
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  5. Sly Pete in Dynamic Semantics.Simon Goldstein - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-17.
    In 'Sly Pete' or 'standoff' cases, reasonable speakers accept incompatible conditionals, and communicate them successfully to a trusting hearer. This paper uses the framework of dynamic semantics to offer a new model of the conversational dynamics at play in standoffs, and to articulate several puzzles posed by such cases. The paper resolves these puzzles by embracing a dynamic semantics for conditionals, according to which indicative conditionals require that their antecedents are possible in their local context, and update this body of (...)
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  6. Conditional Logics Accommodating Stalnaker's Thesis.Andrew Bacon - manuscript
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  7. Morgenbesser’s Coin.Yael Loewenstein - 2021 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 51 (5):317-328.
    Before a fair, indeterministic coin is tossed, Lucky, who is causally isolated from the coin-tossing mechanism, declines to bet on heads. The coin lands heads. The consensus is that the following counterfactual is true: (M:) If Lucky had bet heads, he would have won the bet. It is also widely believed that to rule (M) true, any plausible semantics for counterfactuals must invoke causal independence. But if that’s so, the hope of giving a reductive analysis of causation in terms of (...)
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  8. 'Deduction' Versus 'Inference' and the Denotation of Conditional Sentences.Carsten Breul - manuscript
    The paper defends a variant of the material implication approach to the meaning of conditional sentences against some arguments that are considered to be widely subscribed to and/or important in the philosophical, psychological and linguistic literature. These arguments are shown to be wrong, debatable, or to miss their aim if the truth conditions defining material implication are viewed as determining nothing but the denotation of conditional sentences and if the function of conditional sentences in deduction (logic) is focused on rather (...)
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  9. G. Priest's An Introduction to Non-Classical Logic (2001). [REVIEW]Hans-Peter Leeb - 2003 - History and Philosophy of Logic 24:65-66.
    The review gives a short description of the content of the book and discusses the treatment of conditionals in it.
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  10. Probabilistic Inferences From Conjoined to Iterated Conditionals.Giuseppe Sanfilippo - 2018 - International Journal of Approximate Reasoning 93:103-118.
    There is wide support in logic, philosophy, and psychology for the hypothesis that the probability of the indicative conditional of natural language, $P(\textit{if } A \textit{ then } B)$, is the conditional probability of $B$ given $A$, $P(B|A)$. We identify a conditional which is such that $P(\textit{if } A \textit{ then } B)= P(B|A)$ with de Finetti's conditional event, $B|A$. An objection to making this identification in the past was that it appeared unclear how to form compounds and iterations of (...)
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  11. Against Belief Closure.Lina M. Lissia - manuscript
    I argue that we should solve the Lottery Paradox by denying that rational belief is closed under classical logic. To reach this conclusion, I build on my previous result that (a slight variant of) McGee’s election scenario is a lottery scenario (see Lissia 2019). Indeed, this result implies that the sensible ways to deal with McGee’s scenario are the same as the sensible ways to deal with the lottery scenario: we should either reject the Lockean Thesis or Belief Closure. After (...)
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  12. If a Man Buys a Horse, … You Have No Argument Against Material Implication: On a Flaw in the Foundations of the Restrictor Approach to Conditionals.Carsten Breul - 2022 - Linguistische Berichte 269:43-54.
    The paper discusses a prominent one of Kratzer's (1986, 1991, 2012) arguments against material implication analyses of the denotation of (indicative) conditional sentences. This is the argument based on the sentence _Most of the time, if a man buys a horse, he pays cash for it_. It is shown that material implication makes a prediction that does conform to speakers' intuitions, contrary to Kratzer's claim. The paper also argues that Lewis's (1975) attack on material implication analyses of conditional sentences based (...)
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  13. Gender in Conditionals.Fabio Del Prete & Alessandro Zucchi - 2021 - Linguistics and Philosophy 44:953–980.
    The 3sg pronouns “he” and “she” impose descriptive gender conditions on their referents. These conditions are standardly analysed as presuppositions. Cooper argues that, when 3sg pronouns occur free, they have indexical presuppositions: the gender condition must be satisfied by the pronoun’s referent in the actual world. In this paper, we consider the behaviour of free 3sg pronouns in conditionals and focus on cases in which the pronouns’ gender presuppositions no longer seem to be indexical and project locally instead. We compare (...)
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  14. Counterfactual Probability.Ginger Schultheis - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    Stalnaker's Thesis about indicative conditionals is, roughly, that the probability one ought to assign to an indicative conditional equals the probability that one ought to assign to its consequent conditional on its antecedent. The thesis seems right. If you draw a card from a standard 52-card deck, how confident are you that the card is a diamond if it's a red card? To answer this, you calculate the proportion of red cards that are diamonds -- that is, you calculate the (...)
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  15. "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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  16. 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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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. Meaning-Preserving Contraposition of Conditionals.Gilberto Gomes - 2019 - Journal of Pragmatics 1 (152):46-60.
    It is argued that contraposition is valid for a class of natural language conditionals, if some modifications are allowed to preserve the meaning of the original conditional. In many cases, implicit temporal indices must be considered, making a change in verb tense necessary. A suitable contrapositive for implicative counterfactual conditionals can also usually be found. In some cases, the addition of certain words is necessary to preserve meaning that is present in the original sentence and would be lost or changed (...)
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  20. 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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  21. 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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  22. Disjunctive Antecedent Conditionals.Justin Khoo - 2018 - Synthese 198 (8):7401-7430.
    Disjunctive antecedent conditionals —conditionals of the form if A or B, C—sometimes seem to entail both of their simplifications and sometimes seem not to. I argue that this behavior reveals a genuine ambiguity 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: on one possible logical form, if A (...)
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  23. 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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  24. 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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  25. 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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  26. 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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  27. 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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  28. If, since and because: a study in conditional connection.Storrs McCall - 1983 - Logique Et Analyse 26 (3):309.
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  29. 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. Strict Conditionals.Jan Heylen & Leon Horsten - 2022 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 22 (64):123-131.
    Both Lowe and Tsai have presented their own versions of the theory that both indicative and subjunctive conditionals are strict conditionals. We critically discuss both versions and we find each version wanting.
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  2. A Probabilistic Truth-Conditional Semantics for Indicative Conditionals.Michał Sikorski - forthcoming - Semiotic Studies.
    In my article, I present a new version of a probabilistic truth prescribing semantics for natural language indicative conditionals. The proposed truth conditions can be paraphrased as follows: an indicative conditional is true if the corresponding conditional probability is high and the antecedent is positively probabilistically relevant for the consequent or the probability of the antecedent of the conditional equals 0. In the paper, the truth conditions are defended and some of the logical properties of the proposed semantics are described.
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  3. The Qualitative Thesis.David Boylan & Ginger Schultheis - 2022 - Journal of Philosophy 119 (4):196-229.
    The Qualitative Thesis says that if you leave open P, then you are sure of if P, then Q just in case you are sure of the corresponding material conditional. We argue the Qualitative Thesis provides compelling reasons to accept a thesis that we call Conditional Locality, which says, roughly, the interpretation of an indicative conditional depends, in part, on the conditional’s local embedding environment. In the first part of the paper, we present an argument—due to Ben Holguín—showing that, without (...)
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  4. If P, Then P!Matthew Mandelkern - 2021 - Journal of Philosophy 118 (12):645-679.
    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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  5. The Inextricable Link Between Conditionals and Logical Consequence.Matheus Silva - manuscript
    There is a profound, but frequently ignored relationship between the classical notion of logical consequence (formal implication) and material implication. The first repeats the patterns of the latter, but with a wider modal reach. It is argued that this kinship between formal and material implication simply means that they express the same variety of implication, but differ in scope. Formal implication is unrestricted material implication. This apparently innocuous observation has some significant corollaries: (1) conditionals are not connectives, but arguments; (2) (...)
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  6. Roads to Necessitarianism.Matthew Mandelkern & Daniel Rothschild - 2021 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 50 (1):89-96.
    We show that each of three natural sets of assumptions about the conditional entails necessitarianism: that anything possible is necessary.
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  7. The Evidential Conditional.Vincenzo Crupi & Andrea Iacona - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-25.
    This paper outlines an account of conditionals, the evidential account, which rests on the idea that a conditional is true just in case its antecedent supports its consequent. As we will show, the evidential account exhibits some distinctive logical features that deserve careful consideration. On the one hand, it departs from the material reading of ‘if then’ exactly in the way we would like it to depart from that reading. On the other, it significantly differs from the non-material accounts which (...)
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  8. The Logical Web.Matheus Silva - manuscript
    Different logic systems are motivated by attempts to fix the counter-intuitive instances of classical argumentative forms, e.g., strengthening of the antecedent, contraposition and conditional negation. These counter-examples are regarded as evidence that classical logic should be rejected in favour of a new logic system in which these argumentative forms are considered invalid. It is argued that these logical revisions are ad hoc, because those controversial argumentative forms are implied by other argumentative forms we want to keep. It is impossible to (...)
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  9. Directional Bias.Matheus Silva - manuscript
    There is almost a consensus among conditional experts that indicative conditionals are not material. Their thought hinges on the idea that if indicative conditionals were material, A → B could be vacuously true when A is false, even if B would be false in a context where A is true. But since this consequence is implausible, the material account is usually regarded as false. It is argued that this point of view is motivated by the grammatical form of conditional sentences (...)
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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. Strictness and Connexivity.Andrea Iacona - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (10):1024-1037.
    .This paper discusses Aristotle’s thesis and Boethius’ thesis, the most distinctive theorems of connexive logic. Its aim is to show that, although there is something plausible in Aristotle’s thesis and Boethius’ thesis, the intuitions that may be invoked to motivate them are consistent with any account of indicative conditionals that validates a suitably restricted version of them. In particular, these intuitions are consistent with the view that indicative conditionals are adequately formalized as strict conditionals.
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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. On Stalnaker's "Indicative Conditionals".Fabrizio Cariani - forthcoming - In Louise McNally & 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 and Zoltàn Gendler Szabò.
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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. Modus Ponens and the Logic of Decision.Nate Charlow - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic.
    If modus ponens is valid, then you should take up smoking.
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  20. 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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  21. 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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