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  1. A Causal Theory of Counterfactuals.Eric Hiddleston - 2005 - Noûs 39 (4):632–657.
    I develop an account of counterfactual conditionals using “causal models”, and argue that this account is preferable to the currently standard account in terms of “similarity of possible worlds” due to David Lewis and Robert Stalnaker. I diagnose the attraction of counterfactual theories of causation, and argue that it is illusory.
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  • Epistemic Modality, Mind, and Mathematics.Hasen Khudairi - 2017 - Gutenberg.
    This book concerns the foundations of epistemic modality. I examine the nature of epistemic modality, when the modal operator is interpreted as concerning both apriority and conceivability, as well as states of knowledge and belief. The book demonstrates how phenomenal consciousness and gradational possible-worlds models in Bayesian perceptual psychology relate to epistemic modal space. The book demonstrates, then, how epistemic modality relates to the computational theory of mind; metaphysical modality; deontic modality; the types of mathematical modality; to the epistemic status (...)
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  • Conditional Excluded Middle Without the Limit Assumption.Eric Swanson - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (2):301-321.
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  • Counterfactuality and past.Kilu von Prince - 2019 - Linguistics and Philosophy 42 (6):577-615.
    Many languages have past-and-counterfactuality markers such as English simple past. There have been various attempts to find a common definition for both uses, but I will argue in this paper that they all have problems with ruling out unacceptable interpretations, or accounting for the contrary-to-fact implicature of counterfactual conditionals, or predicting the observed cross-linguistic variation, or a combination thereof. By combining insights from two basic lines of reasoning, I will propose a simple and transparent approach that solves all the observed (...)
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  • Modal Cognitivism and Modal Expressivism.Hasen Khudairi - manuscript
    This paper aims to provide a mathematically tractable background against which to model both modal cognitivism and modal expressivism. I argue that epistemic modal algebras comprise a materially adequate fragment of the language of thought, and endeavor to show how such algebras provide the resources necessary to resolve Russell's paradox of propositions. I demonstrate, then, how modal expressivism can be regimented by modal coalgebraic automata, to which the above epistemic modal algebras are dually isomorphic. I examine, in particular, the virtues (...)
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  • Forms of Luminosity.Hasen Khudairi - 2017
    This dissertation concerns the foundations of epistemic modality. I examine the nature of epistemic modality, when the modal operator is interpreted as concerning both apriority and conceivability, as well as states of knowledge and belief. The dissertation demonstrates how phenomenal consciousness and gradational possible-worlds models in Bayesian perceptual psychology relate to epistemic modal space. The dissertation demonstrates, then, how epistemic modality relates to the computational theory of mind; metaphysical modality; deontic modality; logical modality; the types of mathematical modality; to the (...)
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  • Context-Indexed Counterfactuals and Non-Vacuous Counterpossibles.Mariusz Popieluch - 2019 - Dissertation, The University of Queensland
    The two main features of this thesis are (i) an account of contextualized (context indexed) counterfactuals, and (ii) a non-vacuist account of counterpossibles. Experience tells us that the truth of the counterfactual is contingent on what is meant by the antecedent, which in turn rests on what context is assumed to underlie its reading (intended meaning). On most conditional analyses, only the world of evaluation and the antecedent determine which worlds are relevant to determining the truth of a conditional, and (...)
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  • Indeterminacy in Causation.Eric Swanson - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (268):606–624.
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  • Practical Language: Its Meaning and Use.Nate Charlow - 2011 - Dissertation, University of Michigan
    I demonstrate that a "speech act" theory of meaning for imperatives is—contra a dominant position in philosophy and linguistics—theoretically desirable. A speech act-theoretic account of the meaning of an imperative !φ is characterized, broadly, by the following claims. -/- LINGUISTIC MEANING AS USE !φ’s meaning is a matter of the speech act an utterance of it conventionally functions to express—what a speaker conventionally uses it to do (its conventional discourse function, CDF). -/- IMPERATIVE USE AS PRACTICAL !φ's CDF is to (...)
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  • Mood as Illocutionary Centering.Maria Bittner - unknown
    By this point, we have developed some articulated analyses of top-level temporal anaphora, including temporal quantification, in languages with grammatical tense and/or aspect systems, represented by English, Polish, and Mandarin. But it is still not clear how this approach might extend to temporal anaphora in a language such as Kalaallisut, which has neither grammatical tense nor grammatical aspect, but instead marks only grammatical mood and person. Most theories of mood and modal reference either ignore temporal reference or analyze modal and (...)
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  • The C3 Conditional: A Variably Strict Ordinary-Language Conditional.Monique Whitaker - 2016 - Dissertation, CUNY
    In this dissertation I provide a novel logic of the ordinary-language conditional. First, however, I endeavor to make clearer and more precise just what the objects of the study of the conditional are, as a lack of clarity as to what counts as an instance of a given category of conditional has resulted in deep and significant confusions in subsequent analysis. I motivate for a factual/counterfactual distinction, though not at the level of particular instances of the conditional. Instead, I argue (...)
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  • Deontic Logic as a Study of Conditions of Rationality in Norm-Related Activities.Berislav Žarnić - 2016 - In Olivier Roy, Allard Tamminga & Malte Willer (eds.), Deontic Logic and Normative Systems. College Publications. pp. 272-287.
    The program put forward in von Wright's last works defines deontic logic as ``a study of conditions which must be satisfied in rational norm-giving activity'' and thus introduces the perspective of logical pragmatics. In this paper a formal explication for von Wright's program is proposed within the framework of set-theoretic approach and extended to a two-sets model which allows for the separate treatment of obligation-norms and permission norms. The three translation functions connecting the language of deontic logic with the language (...)
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  • Agentive Modals.Matthew Mandelkern, Ginger Schultheis & David Boylan - 2017 - Philosophical Review 126 (3):301-343.
    This essay proposes a new theory of agentive modals: ability modals and their duals, compulsion modals. After criticizing existing approaches—the existential quantificational analysis, the universal quantificational analysis, and the conditional analysis—it presents a new account that builds on both the existential and conditional analyses. On this account, the act conditional analysis, a sentence like ‘John can swim across the river’ says that there is some practically available action that is such that if John tries to do it, he swims across (...)
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  • Two Switches in the Theory of Counterfactuals: A Study of Truth Conditionality and Minimal Change.Ivano Ciardelli, Linmin Zhang & Lucas Champollion - 2018 - Linguistics and Philosophy (6).
    Based on a crowdsourced truth value judgment experiment, we provide empirical evidence challenging two classical views in semantics, and we develop a novel account of counterfactuals that combines ideas from inquisitive semantics and causal reasoning. First, we show that two truth-conditionally equivalent clauses can make different semantic contributions when embedded in a counterfactual antecedent. Assuming compositionality, this means that the meaning of these clauses is not fully determined by their truth conditions. This finding has a clear explanation in inquisitive semantics: (...)
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  • Decomposing Modal Quantification.A. Brasoveanu - 2010 - Journal of Semantics 27 (4):437-527.
    Providing a compositional interpretation procedure for discourses in which descriptions of complex dependencies between interrelated objects are incrementally built is a key challenge for natural language semantics. This article focuses on the interactions between the entailment particle therefore, modalized conditionals and modal subordination. It shows that the dependencies between individuals and possibilities that emerge out of such interactions can receive a unified compositional account in a system couched in classical type logic that integrates and simplifies van den Berg's dynamic plural (...)
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  • Agents’ Abilities.Romy Jaster - 2020 - Berlin, New York: De Gruyter.
    In the book, I provide an account of what it is for an agent to have an ability. According to the Success View, abilities are all about success across possible situations. In developing and applying the view, the book elucidates the relation between abilities on the one hand and possibility, counterfactuals, and dispositions on the other; it sheds light on the distinction between general and specific abilities; it offers an understanding of degrees of abilities; it explains which role intentions and (...)
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  • Counterfactuals and Historical Possibility.Tomasz Placek & Thomas Müller - 2007 - Synthese 154 (2):173-197.
    We show that truth conditions for counterfactuals need not always be given in terms of a vague notion of similarity. To this end, we single out the important class of historical counterfactuals and give formally rigorous truth conditions for these counterfactuals, employing a partial ordering relation called "comparative closeness" that is defined in the framework of branching space-times. Among other applications, we provide a detailed analysis of counterfactuals uttered in the context of lost bets. In an appendix we compare our (...)
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  • Epistemic Closure and Epistemic Logic I: Relevant Alternatives and Subjunctivism.Wesley H. Holliday - 2015 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 44 (1):1-62.
    Epistemic closure has been a central issue in epistemology over the last forty years. According to versions of the relevant alternatives and subjunctivist theories of knowledge, epistemic closure can fail: an agent who knows some propositions can fail to know a logical consequence of those propositions, even if the agent explicitly believes the consequence (having “competently deduced” it from the known propositions). In this sense, the claim that epistemic closure can fail must be distinguished from the fact that agents do (...)
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  • Deontic Logic and Normative Systems.Olivier Roy, Allard Tamminga & Malte Willer (eds.) - 2016 - London, UK: College Publications.
    The biennial DEON conferences are designed to promote interdisciplinary cooperation amongst scholars interested in linking the formal-logical study of normative concepts and normative systems with computer science, artificial intelligence, linguistics, philosophy, organization theory and law. In addition to these general themes, DEON 2016 encouraged a special focus on the topic "Reasons, Argumentation and Justification.".
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  • A Difficulty for the Possible Worlds Analysis of Counterfactuals.Kit Fine - 2012 - Synthese 189 (1):29-57.
    I present a puzzle concerning counterfactual reasoning and argue that it should be solved by giving up the principle of substitution for logical equivalents.
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  • Semantics for Counterpossibles.Yale Weiss - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Logic 14 (4):383-407.
    The object of this paper is to examine two approaches to giving non-vacuous truth conditions for counterpossibles, counterfactuals with impossible antecedents. I first develop modifications of a Lewis-style sphere semantics with impossible worlds. I argue that this approach sanctions intuitively invalid inferences and is supported by philosophically problematic foundations. I then develop modifications of certain ceteris paribus conditional logics with impossible worlds. Tableaux are given for each of these in an appendix and soundness and completeness results are proved. While certain (...)
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  • Measure Semantics and Qualitative Semantics for Epistemic Modals.Wesley H. Holliday & Thomas F. Icard - 2013 - Proceedings of SALT 23:514-534.
    In this paper, we explore semantics for comparative epistemic modals that avoid the entailment problems shown to result from Kratzer’s (1991) semantics by Yalcin (2006, 2009, 2010). In contrast to the alternative semantics presented by Yalcin and Lassiter (2010, 2011), based on finitely additive probability measures, we introduce semantics based on qualitatively additive measures, as well as semantics based on purely qualitative orderings, including orderings on propositions derived from orderings on worlds in the tradition of Kratzer (1991). All of these (...)
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  • Dividing Things Up: The Semantics of or and the Modal/or Interaction. [REVIEW]Mandy Simons - 2005 - Natural Language Semantics 13 (3):271-316.
    In this paper, the meanings of sentences containing the word or and a modal verb are used to arrive at a novel account of the meaning of or coordinations. It is proposed that or coordinations denote sets whose members are the denotations of the disjuncts; and that the truth conditions of sentences containing or coordinations require the existence of some set made available by the semantic environment which can be ‘divided up’ in accordance with the disjuncts. The relevant notion of (...)
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  • Circumstantial and Temporal Dependence in Counterfactual Modals.Dorit Abusch - 2012 - Natural Language Semantics 20 (3):273-297.
    “Counterfactual” readings of might/could have were previously analyzed using metaphysical modal bases. This paper presents examples and scenarios where the assumptions of such a branching-time semantics are not met, because there are facts at the base world that preclude the complement of the modal becoming true. Additional arguments show that counterfactual readings are context dependent. These data motivate a semantics using a circumstantial (or factual) modal base, which refers to context-dependent facts about a world and time. The analysis is formulated (...)
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  • Frontiers of Conditional Logic.Yale Weiss - 2019 - Dissertation, The Graduate Center, City University of New York
    Conditional logics were originally developed for the purpose of modeling intuitively correct modes of reasoning involving conditional—especially counterfactual—expressions in natural language. While the debate over the logic of conditionals is as old as propositional logic, it was the development of worlds semantics for modal logic in the past century that catalyzed the rapid maturation of the field. Moreover, like modal logic, conditional logic has subsequently found a wide array of uses, from the traditional (e.g. counterfactuals) to the exotic (e.g. conditional (...)
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  • Backtracking Counterfactuals Revisited.Justin Khoo - 2017 - Mind 126 (503):841-910.
    I discuss three observations about backtracking counterfactuals not predicted by existing theories, and then motivate a theory of counterfactuals that does predict them. On my theory, counterfactuals quantify over a suitably restricted set of historical possibilities from some contextually relevant past time. I motivate each feature of the theory relevant to predicting our three observations about backtracking counterfactuals. The paper concludes with replies to three potential objections.
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  • Moral Disagreement and Moral Semantics.Justin Khoo & Joshua Knobe - 2016 - Noûs:109-143.
    When speakers utter conflicting moral sentences, it seems clear that they disagree. It has often been suggested that the fact that the speakers disagree gives us evidence for a claim about the semantics of the sentences they are uttering. Specifically, it has been suggested that the existence of the disagreement gives us reason to infer that there must be an incompatibility between the contents of these sentences. This inference then plays a key role in a now-standard argument against certain theories (...)
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  • Deontic Modals and Probability: One Theory to Rule Them All?Fabrizio Cariani - forthcoming - In Nate Charlow & Matthew Chrisman (eds.), Deontic Modality. Oxford University Press.
    This paper motivates and develops a novel semantic framework for deontic modals. The framework is designed to shed light on two things: the relationship between deontic modals and substantive theories of practical rationality and the interaction of deontic modals with conditionals, epistemic modals and probability operators. I argue that, in order to model inferential connections between deontic modals and probability operators, we need more structure than is provided by classical intensional theories. In particular, we need probabilistic structure that interacts directly (...)
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  • Weak and Strong Necessity Modals: On Linguistic Means of Expressing "A Primitive Concept OUGHT".Alex Silk - forthcoming - In Meaning, Decision, and Norms: Themes from the Work of Allan Gibbard.
    This paper develops an account of the meaning of `ought', and the distinction between weak necessity modals (`ought', `should') and strong necessity modals (`must', `have to'). I argue that there is nothing specially ``strong'' about strong necessity modals per se: uses of `Must p' predicate the (deontic/epistemic/etc.) necessity of the prejacent p of the actual world (evaluation world). The apparent ``weakness'' of weak necessity modals derives from their bracketing whether the necessity of the prejacent is verified in the actual world. (...)
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  • An Investigation of the Lumps of Thought.Angelika Kratzer - 1989 - Linguistics and Philosophy 12 (5):607 - 653.
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  • Modality, Weights and Inconsistent Premise Sets.Alex Silk - 2017 - Journal of Semantics 34 (4):683-707.
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  • Concealed Causatives.Maria Bittner - 1999 - Natural Language Semantics 7 (1):1-78.
    Crosslinguistically, causative constructions conform to the following generalization: If the causal relation is syntactically concealed, then it is semantically direct. Concealed causatives span a wide syntactic spectrum, ranging from resultative complements in English to causative subjects in Miskitu. A unified type-driven theory is proposed which attributes the understood causal relation—and other elements of constructional meaning—to type lifting operations predictably licensed by type mismatch at LF. The proposal has far-reaching theoretical implications not only for the theory of compositionality and causation, but (...)
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  • Conditionals as Attitude Reports.Maria Bittner - manuscript
    Most theories of conditionals and attitudes do not analyze either phenomenon in terms of the other. A few view attitude reports as a species of conditionals (e.g. Stalnaker 1984, Heim 1992). Based on evidence from Kalaallisut, this paper argues for the opposite thesis: conditionals are a species of attitude reports. The argument builds on prior findings that conditionals are modal topic-comment structures (e.g. Haiman 1978, Bittner 2001), and that in mood-based Kalaallisut English future (e.g. Ole will win) translates into a (...)
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  • The Psychological Representation of Modality.Jonathan Phillips & Joshua Knobe - 2018 - Mind and Language 33 (1):1-.
    A series of recent studies have explored the impact of people's judgments regarding physical law, morality, and probability. Surprisingly, such studies indicate that these three apparently unrelated types of judgments often have precisely the same impact. We argue that these findings provide evidence for a more general hypothesis about the kind of cognition people use to think about possibilities. Specifically, we suggest that this aspect of people's cognition is best understood using an idea developed within work in the formal semantics (...)
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  • Only: A Case Study In Projective Meaning.Craige Roberts - 2010 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 6 (1):14.
    I offer an integrated theory of the meaning of only in which the prejacent, while not presupposed, is both entailed and backgrounded, hence tends to project . Moreover, I argue, contra Beaver & Brady , that only is not conventionally associated with focus, the focus effects arising instead pragmatically. But I do adopt aspects of their semantics for only, including the presupposition of a pre-order over the elements of its domain.
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  • New Foundations for Counterfactuals.Franz Huber - 2014 - Synthese 191 (10):2167-2193.
    Philosophers typically rely on intuitions when providing a semantics for counterfactual conditionals. However, intuitions regarding counterfactual conditionals are notoriously shaky. The aim of this paper is to provide a principled account of the semantics of counterfactual conditionals. This principled account is provided by what I dub the Royal Rule, a deterministic analogue of the Principal Principle relating chance and credence. The Royal Rule says that an ideal doxastic agent’s initial grade of disbelief in a proposition \(A\) , given that the (...)
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  • Expectation Biases and Context Management with Negative Polar Questions.Alex Silk - 2020 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 49 (1):51-92.
    This paper examines distinctive discourse properties of preposed negative 'yes/no' questions (NPQs), such as 'Isn’t Jane coming too?'. Unlike with other 'yes/no' questions, using an NPQ '∼p?' invariably conveys a bias toward a particular answer, where the polarity of the bias is opposite of the polarity of the question: using the negative question '∼p?' invariably expresses that the speaker previously expected the positive answer p to be correct. A prominent approach—what I call the context-management approach, developed most extensively by Romero (...)
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  • Anankastic Conditionals Again.Arnim von Stechow - unknown
    The object of our investigation is expressing necessary conditions in natural language, particularly in a certain kind of conditional sentences, the so-called Anankastic Conditionals 2, a topic brought into the linguistic discussion by the seminal papers and. A typical AC is the following sentence, Sæbø’s standard example: If you want to go to Harlem, you have to take the A train. Sæbø analyses the sentence by means of the modal theory in, according to which a modal has two contextual parameters, (...)
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  • Deontic Logics for Prioritized Imperatives.Jörg Hansen - 2006 - Artificial Intelligence and Law 14 (1-2):1-34.
    When a conflict of duties arises, a resolution is often sought by use of an ordering of priority or importance. This paper examines how such a conflict resolution works, compares mechanisms that have been proposed in the literature, and gives preference to one developed by Brewka and Nebel. I distinguish between two cases – that some conflicts may remain unresolved, and that a priority ordering can be determined that resolves all – and provide semantics and axiomatic systems for accordingly defined (...)
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  • Default Logic and Hafta.Anthony Gillies - manuscript
    This is a note from an AMC session on Jeff Horty's (2012) book *Reasons as Defaults*.
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  • Deontic Logic.Paul McNamara - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Lessons From Sobel Sequences.Malte Willer - 2017 - Semantics and Pragmatics 10 (4):1-57.
    Folklore has it that Sobel sequences favor a variably strict analysis of conditionals over its plainly strict alternative. While recent discussions for or against the lore have focussed on Sobel sequences involving counterfactuals, this paper draws attention to the fact that indicative Sobel sequences are just as felicitous as are their counterfactual cousins. The fact, or so I shall argue here, disrupts the folklore: given minimal assumptions about the semantics and pragmatics of indicative conditionals, a textbook variably strict analysis fails (...)
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  • Modals with a Taste of the Deontic.Zoltán Gendler Szabó & Joshua Knobe - 2013 - Semantics and Pragmatics 6 (1):1-42.
    The aim of this paper is to present an explanation for the impact of normative considerations on people’s assessment of certain seemingly purely descriptive matters. The explanation is based on two main claims. First, a large category of expressions are tacitly modal: they are contextually equivalent to modal proxies. Second, the interpretation of predominantly circumstantial or teleological modals is subject to certain constraints which make certain possibilities salient at the expense of others.
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  • On the Lumping Semantics of Counterfactuals.M. Kanazawa - 2005 - Journal of Semantics 22 (2):129-151.
    Kratzer (1981) discussed a naïve premise semantics of counterfactual conditionals, pointed to an empirical inadequacy of this interpretation, and presented a modification—partition semantics—which Lewis (1981) proved equivalent to Pollock's (1976) version of his ordering semantics. Subsequently, Kratzer (1989) proposed lumping semantics, a different modification of premise semantics, and argued it remedies empirical failings of ordering semantics as well as of naïve premise semantics. We show that lumping semantics yields truth conditions for counterfactuals that are not only different from what she (...)
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  • Preferential Belief Change Using Generalized Epistemic Entrenchment.Hans Rott - 1992 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 1 (1):45-78.
    A sentence A is epistemically less entrenched in a belief state K than a sentence B if and only if a person in belief state K who is forced to give up either A or B will give up A and hold on to B. This is the fundamental idea of epistemic entrenchment as introduced by Gärdenfors (1988) and elaborated by Gärdenfors and Makinson (1988). Another distinguishing feature of relations of epistemic entrenchment is that they permit particularly simple and elegant (...)
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  • Foundations of Conditional Logic.Johan Van Benthem - 1984 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 13 (3):303-349.
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  • Remarks on Counterpossibles.Berit Brogaard & Joe Salerno - 2013 - Synthese 190 (4):639-660.
    Since the publication of David Lewis’ Counterfactuals, the standard line on subjunctive conditionals with impossible antecedents (or counterpossibles) has been that they are vacuously true. That is, a conditional of the form ‘If p were the case, q would be the case’ is trivially true whenever the antecedent, p, is impossible. The primary justification is that Lewis’ semantics best approximates the English subjunctive conditional, and that a vacuous treatment of counterpossibles is a consequence of that very elegant theory. Another justification (...)
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  • On the Treatment of Incomparability in Ordering Semantics and Premise Semantics.Eric Swanson - 2011 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 40 (6):693-713.
    In his original semantics for counterfactuals, David Lewis presupposed that the ordering of worlds relevant to the evaluation of a counterfactual admitted no incomparability between worlds. He later came to abandon this assumption. But the approach to incomparability he endorsed makes counterintuitive predictions about a class of examples circumscribed in this paper. The same underlying problem is present in the theories of modals and conditionals developed by Bas van Fraassen, Frank Veltman, and Angelika Kratzer. I show how to reformulate all (...)
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  • Evidence Sensitivity in Weak Necessity Deontic Modals.Alex Silk - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (4):691-723.
    Kolodny and MacFarlane have made a pioneering contribution to our understanding of how the interpretation of deontic modals can be sensitive to evidence and information. But integrating the discussion of information-sensitivity into the standard Kratzerian framework for modals suggests ways of capturing the relevant data without treating deontic modals as “informational modals” in their sense. I show that though one such way of capturing the data within the standard semantics fails, an alternative does not. Nevertheless I argue that we have (...)
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  • Counterfactuals.Igal Kvart - 1992 - Erkenntnis 36 (2):139 - 179.
    In this article I offer an approach to counterfactuals based on a notion of objective probability. It is in the spirit of, though it does not fall squarely under, the metalinguistic model. Thus, it is not developed in terms of possible worlds, or notions parasitic on them (e.g., similarity). Its dominant features are rooted in objective probability and causal relevance (analyzed probabilistically), and thus it is not close in spirit to a maximal similarity or a minimal change approach.
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