Triviality and the logic of restricted quantification

Synthese 200 (4):1-21 (2022)
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Abstract

This paper clarifies the relationship between the Triviality Results for the conditional and the Restrictor Theory of the conditional. On the understanding of Triviality proposed here, it is implausible—pace many proponents of the Restrictor Theory—that Triviality rests on a syntactic error. As argued here, Triviality arises from simply mistaking the feature a claim has when that claim is logically unacceptable for the feature a claim has when that claim is unsatisfiable. Triviality rests on a semantic confusion—one which some semantic theories, but not others, are prone to making. On the interpretation proposed here, Triviality Results thus play a theoretically constructive role in the project of natural language semantics.

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Nate Charlow
University of Toronto, St. George Campus

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References found in this work

Probabilistic Knowledge.Sarah Moss - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
Context.Robert Stalnaker - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
Generalized Quantifiers and Natural Language.John Barwise & Robin Cooper - 1981 - Linguistics and Philosophy 4 (2):159--219.
Epistemic Modals.Seth Yalcin - 2007 - Mind 116 (464):983-1026.

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