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Summary Truth-Conditional Accounts of Indicative Conditionals are semantic theories that define the truth conditions of indicative conditionals. Such proposals assume that conditionals are truth-apt expressions. Truth conditions are the semantic facts that determine the logical value of a given expression. Usually, they are captured by definitions that define when a given expression is true, false, or has some other value. In this category, you will find articles that present, defend, or criticize truth-conditional accounts, along with papers that discuss the very idea of the truth-aptness of indicative conditionals.
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  1. Conditionals and Truth Functionality.Rani Lill Anjum - manuscript
    The material interpretation of conditionals is commonly recognized as involving some paradoxical results. I here argue that the truth functional approach to natural language is the reason for the inadequacy of this material interpretation, since the truth or falsity of some pair of statements ‘p’ and ‘q’ cannot per se be decisive for the truth or falsity of a conditional relation ‘if p then q’. This inadequacy also affects the ability of the overall formal system to establish whether or not (...)
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  2. Paul Grice on Indicative Conditionals.Rani Lill Anjum - manuscript
    Grice argues that indicative conditionals ‘if p then q’ have conventional, truth conditional meaning according to the material conditional ‘p  q’. In order to explain away the known paradoxes with this interpretation, he distinguishes between truth conditions and assertion conditions, attempting to demonstrate that the assumed connection between ‘p’ and ‘q’ (the Indirectness Condition) is a conversational implicature; hence a matter only relevant for the assertion conditions of a conditional. This paper argues that Grice fails to demonstrate i) that (...)
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  3. Trivalent Conditionals: Stalnaker's Thesis and Bayesian Inference.Paul Égré, Lorenzo Rossi & Jan Sprenger - manuscript
    This paper develops a trivalent semantics for indicative conditionals and extends it to a probabilistic theory of valid inference and inductive learning with conditionals. On this account, (i) all complex conditionals can be rephrased as simple conditionals, connecting our account to Adams's theory of p-valid inference; (ii) we obtain Stalnaker's Thesis as a theorem while avoiding the well-known triviality results; (iii) we generalize Bayesian conditionalization to an updating principle for conditional sentences. The final result is a unified semantic and probabilistic (...)
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  4. A Postscript to The Theory of Conditional Elements.Joseph S. Fulda - manuscript
  5. The Orthologic of Epistemic Modals.Wesley H. Holliday & Matthew Mandelkern - manuscript
    Epistemic modals have peculiar logical features that are challenging to account for in a broadly classical framework. For instance, while a sentence of the form ‘p, but it might be that not p’ appears to be a contradiction, 'might not p' does not entail 'not p', which would follow in classical logic. Likewise, the classical laws of distributivity and disjunctive syllogism fail for epistemic modals. Existing attempts to account for these facts generally either under- or over-correct. Some theories predict that (...)
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  6. A Note on Conditionals and Restrictors.Daniel Rothschild - manuscript
    This note relates the Lewis/Kratzer view of conditionals as restrictors to the philosophical debate over the meaning of conditionals.
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  7. Subjunctive Conditionals are Material.Matheus Silva - manuscript
    The material account proposes that indicative conditionals are material, but it is widely believed that this account cannot be applied to subjunctive conditionals. There are three reasons for this consensus: (1) the concern that most subjunctive conditionals would be vacuously true if they were material, which seems implausible; (2) the inconsistency with Adams pair, which suggests that indicative and subjunctive conditionals have different truth conditions; and (3) the belief that the possible world theories are a superior alternative to the material (...)
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  8. The Inextricable Link Between Conditionals and Logical Consequence.Matheus Silva - manuscript
    There is a profound, but frequently ignored relationship between logical consequence (formal implication) and material implication. The first repeats the patterns of the latter, but with a wider modal reach. It is argued that this kinship between formal and material implication simply means that they express the same kind of implication, but differ in scope. Formal implication is unrestricted material implication. This apparently innocuous observation has some significant corollaries: (1) conditionals are not connectives, but arguments; (2) the traditional examples of (...)
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  9. The Logical Web.Matheus Silva - manuscript
    Different logic systems are motivated by attempts to fix the counter-intuitive instances of classical argumentative forms, e.g., strengthening of the antecedent, contraposition and conditional negation. These counter-examples are regarded as evidence that classical logic should be rejected in favour of a new logic system in which these argumentative forms are considered invalid. It is argued that these logical revisions are ad hoc, because those controversial argumentative forms are implied by other argumentative forms we want to keep. It is impossible to (...)
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  10. The Triviality Result is not Counter-Intuitive.Matheus Silva - manuscript
    The Equation (TE) states that the probability of A → B is the probability of B given A. Lewis (1976) has shown that the acceptance of TE implies that the probability of A → B is the probability of B, which is implausible: the probability of a conditional cannot plausibly be the same as the probability of its consequent, e.g., the probability that the match will light given that is struck is not intuitively the same as the probability that it (...)
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  11. Directional Bias.Matheus Silva - manuscript
    There is almost a consensus among conditional experts that indicative conditionals are not material. Their thought hinges on the idea that if indicative conditionals were material, A → B could be vacuously true when A is false, even if B would be false in a context where A is true. But since this consequence is implausible, the material account is usually regarded as false. It is argued that this point of view is motivated by the grammatical form of conditional sentences (...)
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  12. Indicative Conditionals are Material - Expanding the Survey.Matheus Martins Silva - manuscript
    Adam Rieger (2013) has carried out a survey of arguments in favour of the material account of indicative conditionals. These arguments involve simple and direct demonstrations of the material account. I extend the survey with new arguments and clarify the logical connections among them. I also show that the main counter-examples against these arguments are not successful either because their premises are just as counter-intuitive as the conclusions, or because they depend on contextual fallacies. The conclusion is that the unpopularity (...)
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  13. Conditionals and the Conditions for their Truth from the Viewpoint of Moslem Logicians after Ibn-Sina.M. Hoseini - unknown - Kheradnameh Sadra Quarterly 28.
    After Ibn-sina, Moslem logicians started to develop and expand the Sinan logic. In discussing the conditionals they have come closer to the field of logic by avoiding some of the ontological views in the Sinan logic. However they have tried to clarity the conditionals the conditions for their truth and the quality of the validity of universality and particularity and to determine the place of affirmation and negation in conditional propositions through using an ordinary language. For the first time they (...)
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  14. On Stalnaker's "Indicative Conditionals".Fabrizio Cariani - forthcoming - In Louise McNally & Zoltan Szabo (eds.), Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy, Vol 100. Springer.
    This paper is a guide to the main ideas and innovations in Robert Stalnaker's "Indicative Conditionals". The paper is for a volume of essays on twenty-one classics of formal semantics edited by Louise McNally and Zoltàn Gendler Szabò.
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  15. Certain and Uncertain Inference with Indicative Conditionals.Paul Égré, Lorenzo Rossi & Jan Sprenger - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    This paper develops a trivalent semantics for the truth conditions and the probability of the natural language indicative conditional. Our framework rests on trivalent truth conditions first proposed by Cooper (1968) and Belnap (1973) and it yields two logics of conditional reasoning: (i) a logic C of certainty-preserving inference; and (ii) a logic U for uncertain reasoning that preserves the probability of the premises. We show systematic correspondences between trivalent and probabilistic representations of inferences in either framework, and we use (...)
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  16. The case of the missing ‘If’: Accessibility relations in Stalnaker’s theory of conditionals.Matthew Mandelkern - forthcoming - Semantics and Pragmatics.
    A part of Stalnaker (1968)’s influential theory of conditionals has been neglected, namely the role for an accessibility relation between worlds. I argue that the accessibility relation does not play the role intended for it in the theory as stated, and propose a minimal revision which solves the problem, and brings the theory in line with the formulation in Stalnaker & Thomason 1970.
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  17. Modus Ponens and the Logic of Decision.Nate Charlow - 2023 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 52 (3):859-888.
  18. The Qualitative Thesis.David Boylan & Ginger Schultheis - 2022 - Journal of Philosophy 119 (4):196-229.
    The Qualitative Thesis says that if you leave open P, then you are sure of if P, then Q just in case you are sure of the corresponding material conditional. We argue the Qualitative Thesis provides compelling reasons to accept a thesis that we call Conditional Locality, which says, roughly, the interpretation of an indicative conditional depends, in part, on the conditional’s local embedding environment. In the first part of the paper, we present an argument—due to Ben Holguín—showing that, without (...)
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  19. On the Logical Form of Concessive Conditionals.Vincenzo Crupi & Andrea Iacona - 2022 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 51 (3):633-651.
    This paper outlines an account of concessive conditionals that rests on two main ideas. One is that the logical form of a sentence as used in a given context is determined by the content expressed by the sentence in that context. The other is that a coherent distinction can be drawn between a reading of ‘if’ according to which a conditional is true when its consequent holds on the supposition that its antecedent holds, and a stronger reading according to which (...)
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  20. The Evidential Conditional.Vincenzo Crupi & Andrea Iacona - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (6):2897-2921.
    This paper outlines an account of conditionals, the evidential account, which rests on the idea that a conditional is true just in case its antecedent supports its consequent. As we will show, the evidential account exhibits some distinctive logical features that deserve careful consideration. On the one hand, it departs from the material reading of ‘if then’ exactly in the way we would like it to depart from that reading. On the other, it significantly differs from the non-material accounts which (...)
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  21. Strict conditionals.Jan Heylen & Leon Horsten - 2022 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 22 (64):123-131.
    Both Lowe and Tsai have presented their own versions of the theory that both indicative and subjunctive conditionals are strict conditionals. We critically discuss both versions and we find each version wanting.
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  22. A Probabilistic Truth-Conditional Semantics for Indicative Conditionals.Michał Sikorski - 2022 - Semiotic Studies 35 (2):69-87.
    In my article, I present a new version of a probabilistic truth prescribing semantics for natural language indicative conditionals. The proposed truth conditions can be paraphrased as follows: an indicative conditional is true if the corresponding conditional probability is high and the antecedent is positively probabilistically relevant for the consequent or the probability of the antecedent of the conditional equals 0. In the paper, the truth conditions are defended and some of the logical properties of the proposed semantics are described.
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  23. Strictness and connexivity.Andrea Iacona - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (10):1024-1037.
    .This paper discusses Aristotle’s thesis and Boethius’ thesis, the most distinctive theorems of connexive logic. Its aim is to show that, although there is something plausible in Aristotle’s thesis and Boethius’ thesis, the intuitions that may be invoked to motivate them are consistent with any account of indicative conditionals that validates a suitably restricted version of them. In particular, these intuitions are consistent with the view that indicative conditionals are adequately formalized as strict conditionals.
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  24. If P, Then P!Matthew Mandelkern - 2021 - Journal of Philosophy 118 (12):645-679.
    The Identity principle says that conditionals with the form 'If p, then p' are logical truths. Identity is overwhelmingly plausible, and has rarely been explicitly challenged. But a wide range of conditionals nonetheless invalidate it. I explain the problem, and argue that the culprit is the principle known as Import-Export, which we must thus reject. I then explore how we can reject Import-Export in a way that still makes sense of the intuitions that support it, arguing that the differences between (...)
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  25. Roads to Necessitarianism.Matthew Mandelkern & Daniel Rothschild - 2021 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 50 (1):89-96.
    We show that each of three natural sets of assumptions about the conditional entails necessitarianism: that anything possible is necessary.
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  26. Conditionals, Paradox, and Probability: Themes from the Philosophy of Dorothy Edgington.Lee Walters & John Hawthorne (eds.) - 2021 - Oxford, England: Oxford University press.
    A festschrift for Dorothy Edgington, containing contributions from Cleo Condoravdi, Dorothy Edgington, Kit Fine, Alan Hájek, John Hawthorne, Sabine Iatridou, Nick Jones, Rosanna Keefe, Angelika Kratzer, David Over, Daniel Rothschild, Robert Stalnaker, Scott Sturgeon, and Timothy Williamson.
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  27. Suppose and Tell: The Semantics and Heuristics of Conditionals.Timothy Williamson - 2020 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    What does 'if' mean? Timothy Williamson presents a controversial new approach to understanding conditional thinking, which is central to human cognitive life. He argues that in using 'if' we rely on psychological heuristics, fast and frugal methods which can lead us to trust faulty data and prematurely reject simple theories.
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  28. The spectre of triviality.Nate Charlow - 2019 - Analysis 79 (4):595-605.
    A spectre haunts the semantics of natural language — the spectre of Triviality. Semanticists (in particular Rothschild 2013; Khoo and Mandelkern 2018a,b) have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre. None, I will argue, have yet succeeded.
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  29. Context, Cognition and Conditionals.Chi-Hé Elder - 2019 - Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
    This book proposes a semantic theory of conditionals that can account for (i) the variability in usages that conditional sentences can be put; and (ii) both conditional sentences of the form ‘if p, q’ and those conditional thoughts that are expressed without using ‘if’. It presents theoretical arguments as well as empirical evidence from English and other languages in support of the thesis that an adequate study of conditionals has to go beyond an analysis of specific sentence forms or lexical (...)
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  30. Against Preservation.Matthew Mandelkern & Justin Khoo - 2019 - Analysis 79 (3):424-436.
    Bradley offers a quick and convincing argument that no Boolean semantic theory for conditionals can validate a very natural principle concerning the relationship between credences and conditionals. We argue that Bradley’s principle, Preservation, is, in fact, invalid; its appeal arises from the validity of a nearby, but distinct, principle, which we call Local Preservation, and which Boolean semantic theories can non-trivially validate.
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  31. On Conditionals.Theresa Helke - 2018 - Dissertation, National University of Singapore
    This thesis is about indicative conditionals and apparent counterexamples to classically valid argument forms. Specifically, it applies the following four theories: - material (inspired by Grice (1961, 1975 and 1989)); - possible-worlds (inspired by Stalnaker (1981); Lewis (1976); and Kratzer (2012)), - suppositional (inspired by Adams (1975) and Edgington (1995 and 2014)); and - hybrid (inspired by Jackson (1987)) to try and solve the following two counterexamples: - Vann McGee’s to modus ponens (1985); and - Lewis Carroll’s to modus tollens (...)
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  32. Indicative Conditionals as Strict Conditionals.Andrea Iacona - 2018 - Argumenta 4 (1):177-192.
    This paper is intended to show that, at least in a considerably wide class of cases, indicative conditionals are adequately formalized as strict conditionals. The first part of the paper outlines three arguments that support the strict conditional view, that is, three reasons for thinking that an indicative conditional is true just in case it is impossible that its antecedent is true and its consequent is false. The second part of the paper develops the strict conditional view and defends it (...)
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  33. Talking about worlds.Matthew Mandelkern - 2018 - Philosophical Perspectives 32 (1):298-325.
    I explore the logic of the conditional, using credence judgments to argue against Duality and in favor of Conditional Excluded Middle. I then explore how to give a theory of the conditional which validates the latter and not the former, developing a variant on Kratzer (1981)'s restrictor theory, as well as a proposal which combines Stalnaker (1968)'s theory of the conditional with the theory of epistemic modals I develop in Mandelkern 2019a. I argue that the latter approach fits naturally with (...)
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  34. A 4-valued logic of strong conditional.Fabien Schang - 2018 - South American Journal of Logic 3 (1):59-86.
    How to say no less, no more about conditional than what is needed? From a logical analysis of necessary and sufficient conditions (Section 1), we argue that a stronger account of conditional can be obtained in two steps: firstly, by reminding its historical roots inside modal logic and set-theory (Section 2); secondly, by revising the meaning of logical values, thereby getting rid of the paradoxes of material implication whilst showing the bivalent roots of conditional as a speech-act based on affirmations (...)
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  35. Presuppositional Anaphora Is The Sobel Truth.Daniel Dohrn - 2017 - In Salvatore Pistoia-Reda & Filippo Domaneschi (eds.), Linguistic and Psycholinguistic Approaches on Implicatures and Presuppositions. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 199-238.
    Sobel sequences have had a huge impact on the discussion of counterfactuals. They can be composed of conditionals and mere descriptions. What is especially puzzling about them is that they are often felicitously uttered when their reversal is not. Up to now, there is no unified explanation. I examine two strategies. We might begin with conditionals and proceed to descriptions. Or we might begin with descriptions and proceed to conditionals. I argue for the latter variant and outline a universal theory (...)
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  36. Conditionals.Anthony S. Gillies - 2017 - In Bob Hale, Crispin Wright & Alexander Miller (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Language. Chichester, UK: Wiley. pp. 401–436.
  37. The truth functional hypothesis does not imply the liars paradox.M. Martins Silva - 2017 - Unisinos Journal of Philosophy 17 (3):1-2.
    The truth-functional hypothesis states that indicative conditional sentences and the material implication have the same truth conditions. Haze (2011) has rejected this hypothesis. He claims that a self-referential conditional, coupled with a plausible assumption about its truth-values and the assumption that the truth-functional hypothesis is true, lead to a liar’s paradox. Given that neither the self-referential conditional nor the assumption about its truth-values are problematic, the culprit of the paradox must be the truth-functional hypothesis. Therefore, we should reject it. In (...)
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  38. Content in a Dynamic Context.Una Stojnić - 2017 - Noûs 53 (2):394-432.
    The standing tradition in theorizing about meaning, since at least Frege, identifies meaning with propositions, which are, or determine, the truth-conditions of a sentence in a context. But a recent trend has advocated a departure from this tradition: in particular, it has been argued that modal claims do not express standard propositional contents. This non-propositionalism has received different implementations in expressivist semantics and certain kinds of dynamic semantics. They maintain that the key aspect of interpretation of modal claims is the (...)
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  39. One's Modus Ponens: Modality, Coherence and Logic.Una Stojnić - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (1):167-214.
    Recently, there has been a shift away from traditional truth-conditional accounts of meaning towards non-truth-conditional ones, e.g., expressivism, relativism and certain forms of dynamic semantics. Fueling this trend is some puzzling behavior of modal discourse. One particularly surprising manifestation of such behavior is the alleged failure of some of the most entrenched classical rules of inference; viz., modus ponens and modus tollens. These revisionary, non-truth-conditional accounts tout these failures, and the alleged tension between the behavior of modal vocabulary and classical (...)
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  40. A Compositional Semantics for ‘Even If’ Conditionals.Mathieu Vidal - 2017 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 26 (2):237-276.
    This paper presents the first possible world semantics for concessive conditionals (i.e., even if A, C conditionals) constructed in a compositional way. First, the meaning of if is formalized through a semantics that builds on the proposal given by Stalnaker (1968). A major difference from Stalnaker’s approach is that irrelevant conditionals (i.e., conditionals where the antecedent and the consequent have no connection) are false in this new setting. Second, the meaning of even is analyzed through a formal semantics based on (...)
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  41. Contextualism about Deontic Conditionals.Aaron Bronfman & Janice Dowell, J. L. - 2016 - In Nate Charlow & Matthew Chrisman (eds.), Deontic Modality. Oxford: pp. 117-142.
    Our goal here is to help identify the contextualist’s most worthy competitor to relativism. Recently, some philosophers of language and linguists have argued that, while there are contextualist-friendly semantic theories of deontic modals that fit with the relativist’s challenge data, the best such theories are not Lewis-Kratzer-style semantic theories. If correct, this would be important: It would show that the theory that has for many years enjoyed the status of the default view of modals in English and other languages is (...)
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  42. Whether-conditionals.Theodore Korzukhin - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (3):609-628.
    In this paper I look at indicative nested whether-conditionals, sentences like:If I pass the exam, I will pass whether I pray or not.The behavior of ‘if’ in these examples is to be contrasted with the behavior of ‘if’ in or-to-if conditionals:If Mary is at home or at work, then if she is not at home, she is at work.I argue that no currently available semantics for indicative conditionals can explain both the behavior of ‘if’ in nested whether-conditionals and the behavior (...)
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  43. Ifs, Ands, and Buts: An Incremental Truthmaker Semantics for Indicative Conditionals.Stephen Yablo - 2016 - Analytic Philosophy 57 (1):175-213.
  44. Triviality For Restrictor Conditionals.Nate Charlow - 2015 - Noûs 50 (3):533-564.
    I present two Triviality results for Kratzer's standard “restrictor” analysis of indicative conditionals. I both refine and undermine the common claim that problems of Triviality do not arise for Kratzer conditionals since they are not strictly conditionals at all.
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  45. Conditionals and Modality.Magdalena Kaufmann & Stefan Kaufmann - 2015 - In Shalom Lappin & Chris Fox (eds.), Handbook of Contemporary Semantic Theory. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 237-270.
  46. On Indicative And Subjunctive Conditionals.Justin Khoo - 2015 - Philosophers' Imprint 15.
    At the center of the literature on conditionals lies the division between indicative and subjunctive conditionals, and Ernest Adams’ famous minimal pair: If Oswald didn’t shoot Kennedy, someone else did. If Oswald hadn’t shot Kennedy, someone else would have. While a lot of attention is paid to figuring out what these different kinds of conditionals mean, significantly less attention has been paid to the question of why their grammatical differences give rise to their semantic differences. In this paper, I articulate (...)
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  47. Defending a simple theory of conditionals.Adam Rieger - 2015 - American Philosophical Quarterly 52 (3):253-260.
    This paper extends the defense of a simple theory of indicative conditionals previously proposed by the author, in which the truth conditions are material, and Grice-style assertability conditions are given to explain the paradoxes of material implication. The paper discusses various apparent counter-examples to the material account in which conditionals are not asserted, and so the original theory cannot be applied; it is argued that, nevertheless, the material theory can be defended.
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  48. Contextualist Theories of the Indicative Conditional and Stalnaker’s Thesis.Theodore Korzukhin - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (3):177-183.
    Lewis argued that ‘there is no way to interpret a conditional connective so that, with sufficient generality, the probabilities of conditionals will equal the appropriate conditional probabilities’. However, as Lewis and others have subsequently recognized, Lewis' triviality results go through only on the assumption that ‘if’ is not context-sensitive. This leaves a question that has not been adequately addressed: what are the prospects of a context-sensitive theory of ‘if’ that complies with Stalnaker's thesis? I offer one interesting constraint on any (...)
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  49. Dominance Conditionals and the Newcomb Problem.Theodore Korzukhin - 2014 - Philosophers' Imprint 14.
    The dominance conditional 'If I drink the contents of cup A, I will drink more than if drink the contents of cup B' is true if we know that the first cup contains more than the second. In the first part of the paper, I show that only one kind of theory of indicative conditionals can explain this fact — a Stalnaker-type semantics. In the second part of the paper, I show that dominance conditionals can help explain a long-standing mystery: (...)
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  50. Rethinking Gibbard’s Riverboat Argument.Karolina Krzyżanowska, Sylvia Wenmackers & Igor Douven - 2014 - Studia Logica 102 (4):771-792.
    According to the Principle of Conditional Non-Contradiction (CNC), conditionals of the form “If p, q” and “If p, not q” cannot both be true, unless p is inconsistent. This principle is widely regarded as an adequacy constraint on any semantics that attributes truth conditions to conditionals. Gibbard has presented an example of a pair of conditionals that, in the context he describes, appear to violate CNC. He concluded from this that conditionals lack truth conditions. We argue that this conclusion is (...)
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