Conversation and conditionals

Philosophical Studies 138 (2):211 - 223 (2008)
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Abstract
I outline and motivate a way of implementing a closest world theory of indicatives, appealing to Stalnaker's framework of open conversational possibilities. Stalnakerian conversational dynamics helps us resolve two outstanding puzzles for a such a theory of indicative conditionals. The first puzzle -- concerning so-called 'reverse Sobel sequences' -- can be resolved by conversation dynamics in a theoryneutral way: the explanation works as much for Lewisian counterfactuals as for the account of indicatives developed here. Resolving the second puzzle, by contrast, relies on the interplay between the particular theory of indicative conditionals developed here and Stalnakerian dynamics. The upshot is an attractive resolution of the so-called "Gibbard phenomenon" for indicative conditionals.
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