Williamson on conditionals and testimony

Philosophical Studies 180 (1):121-131 (2023)
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In _Suppose and Tell_, Williamson makes a new case for the material conditional account. He tries to explain away apparently countervailing data by arguing that these have been misinterpreted because researchers have overlooked the role of heuristics in the processing of conditionals. Cases involving the receipt of apparently conflicting conditionals play an important dialectical role in Williamson’s book: they are supposed to provide evidence for the material conditional account as well as for the defeasibility of a key procedure underlying our everyday assessments of conditionals. We argue that they can serve neither of these purposes and that Williamson overestimates the reach of heuristics. We specifically challenge Williamson’s assumption that, in the kind of cases centrally at issue in his book, the recipient of conflicting conditionals will typically accept those at face value, even granting Williamson that conditionals can be freely passed among speakers under normal conditions of testimony.



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Author Profiles

Karolina Krzyżanowska
University of Amsterdam
Igor Douven
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

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References found in this work

On conditionals.Dorothy Edgington - 1995 - Mind 104 (414):235-329.
Inquiry.Robert Stalnaker - 1984 - Synthese 79 (1):171-189.
The logic of conditionals.Ernest Adams - 1965 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 8 (1-4):166 – 197.
In two minds: dual-process accounts of reasoning.Jonathan St B. T. Evans - 2003 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 7 (10):454-459.

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