From McGee's puzzle to the Lottery Paradox

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Vann McGee has presented a putative counterexample to modus ponens. After clarifying that McGee actually targets an epistemic version of such a principle, I show that, contrary to a view commonly held in the literature, assuming the material conditional as an interpretation of the natural language conditional “if … then …” does not dissolve the puzzle. Indeed, I provide a slightly modified version of McGee’s famous election scenario in which (1) the relevant features of the scenario are preserved and (2) both (epistemic) modus ponens and modus tollens fail, even if we assume the material conditional. I go on to note that in the modified scenario (which I call “the restaurant scenario”) (epistemic) conjunction introduction does not hold. More specifically, I show that the restaurant scenario is actually a version of the lottery scenario Kyburg uses in his Lottery Paradox. One main conclusion ensues, according to which we should expect a unified solution to both McGee’s puzzle and the Lottery Paradox. This conclusion defies the existing accounts of McGee’s puzzle.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Upload history
First archival date: 2020-02-25
Latest version: 2 (2021-01-02)
View other versions
Added to PP index

Total views
148 ( #34,992 of 2,439,471 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
30 ( #23,762 of 2,439,471 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.