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Akman (2017) argued that our logic textbooks should be burned, since they present a propositional analysis of necessary and sufficient conditions that leads to a contradiction. According to Akman, we should instead adopt a first-order analysis where conditions are interpreted as one-place predicates. I will argue that (1) Akman’s argument fails to show that the propositional analysis of conditions leads to a contradiction, since the negation of a conjunction is not a conjunction with negated conjuncts, but rather a disjunction with negated disjuncts; (2) we can still infer a contradiction from the propositional analysis of conditions by negating two propositions individually and using them to form a conjunction that is contradictory; (3) Akman’s interpretation of the first-order analysis does not accurately represent most attributions of conditions; (4) a proper representation of most attributions of conditions in the first-order analysis also implies a contradiction; (5) the propositional and the first-order analysis of conditions imply a contradiction because they use the material conditional, but they can be formulated with other conditional connectives that prevent this consequence; (6) we should still maintain the material conditional in both analyses and explain away its counter-intuitive character as the result of an epistemic bias that favours intentional evidence over extensional evidence, and acceptability conditions and criteria of truth over truth conditions.
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Archival date: 2020-01-30
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