Disjunctive antecedent conditionals

Synthese 198 (8):7401-7430 (2018)
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Abstract

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 or B, C does entail both of its simplifications, while on the other, it does not.

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Justin Khoo
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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