Relevance and Conditionals: A Synopsis of Open Pragmatic and Semantic Issues

In S. Elqayam, Igor Douven, J. Evans & N. Cruz (eds.), Logic and Uncertainty in the Human Mind: A Tribute to David E. Over. Routledge (2020)
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Recently several papers have reported relevance effects on the cognitive assessments of indicative conditionals, which pose an explanatory challenge to the Suppositional Theory of conditionals advanced by David Over, which is influential in the psychology of reasoning. Some of these results concern the “Equation” (P(if A, then C) = P(C|A)), others the de Finetti truth table, and yet others the uncertain and-to-inference task. The purpose of this chapter is to take a Birdseye view on the debate and investigate some of the open theoretical issues posed by the empirical results. Central among these is whether to count these effects as belonging to pragmatics or semantics.

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Niels Skovgaard-Olsen
University of Freiburg


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