Probability, Evidential Support, and the Logic of Conditionals

Argumenta 6:211-222 (2021)
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Abstract

Once upon a time, some thought that indicative conditionals could be effectively analyzed as material conditionals. Later on, an alternative theoretical construct has prevailed and received wide acceptance, namely, the conditional probability of the consequent given the antecedent. Partly following critical remarks recently ap- peared in the literature, we suggest that evidential support—rather than conditional probability alone—is key to understand indicative conditionals. There have been motivated concerns that a theory of evidential conditionals (unlike their more tra- ditional counterparts) cannot generate a sufficiently interesting logical system. Here, we will describe results dispelling these worries. Happily, and perhaps surprisingly, appropriate technical variations of Ernst Adams’s classical approach allow for the construction of a logic of evidential conditionals with distinctive fea- tures, which is also well-behaved and reasonably strong.

Author Profiles

Vincenzo Crupi
Università degli Studi di Torino
Andrea Iacona
Università di Torino

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