Hurford Conditionals

Journal of Semantics 35 (2):357-367 (2018)
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Abstract
Compare the following conditionals: 'If John is not in Paris, he is in France' versus 'If John is in France, he is not in Paris.' The second sounds entirely natural, whereas the first sounds quite strange. This contrast is puzzling, because these two conditionals have the same structure at a certain level of logical abstraction, namely 'If ¬p+, then p.' We argue that existing theories of informational oddness do not distinguish between these conditionals. We do not have an account of the divergence in judgments about the two, but we think this is a fascinating puzzle which we pose here in the hope others will be able to solve it.
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Archival date: 2018-01-08
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