Conditional Collapse

Mind (forthcoming)
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Indicative and subjunctive conditionals are in non-complimentary distribution: there are conversational contexts at which both are licensed (Stalnaker (1975), Karttunen & Peters (1979), von Fintel (1998)). This means we can ask an important, but under-explored, question: in contexts which license both, what relations hold between the two? In this paper, I’ll argue for an initially surprising conclusion: when attention is restricted to the relevant contexts, indicatives and subjunctives are co-entailing. §1 introduces the indicative/subjunctive distinction, along with a discussion of the relevant notion of entailment; §2 presents the main argument of the paper, and §3 considers some of the philosophical implications the argument in §2. Finally, §4 argues that we can reconcile the equivalence of indicatives and subjunctives with apparently conflicting judgments.



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Sam Carter
Australian Catholic University

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References found in this work

Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (2):452-458.

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