Making Conditional Speech Acts in the Material Way

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Abstract
The conventional wisdom about conditionals claims that (1) conditionals that have non-assertive acts in their consequents, such as commands and promises, cannot be plausibly interpreted as assertions of material implication; (2) the most promising hypothesis about those sentences is conditional-assertion theory, which explains a conditional as a conditional speech act, i.e., a performance of a speech act given the assumption of the antecedent. This hypothesis has far-reaching and revisionist consequences, because conditional speech acts are not synonymous with a proposition with truth conditions. This paper argues against this view in two steps. First, it presents a battery of objections against conditional-assertion theory. Second, it argues that those examples can be convincingly interpreted as assertions of material implication.
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First archival date: 2020-02-16
Latest version: 23 (2022-09-05)
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2020-02-16

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