Decomposing relevance in conditionals

Mind and Language 38 (3):644-668 (2023)
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Abstract

Conditionals frequently convey that the antecedent is relevant to the consequent. Recently many authors have argued that this relevance is part of the conventional meaning of conditionals, but this approach fails to account for many examples where a conditional is used to conveyirrelevance of antecedent to consequent. Both types of conditionals are best explained by a conventional meaning with no relevance requirement, and a separate process of coherence establishment among successive clauses in discourse. This account is supported by the distribution of discourse particles and is able to account for experimental studies used to support the conventionalist position.

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Daniel Lassiter
Stanford University

References found in this work

Scorekeeping in a language game.David Lewis - 1979 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 8 (1):339--359.
On conditionals.Dorothy Edgington - 1995 - Mind 104 (414):235-329.
Logic and Conversation.H. Paul Grice - 1989 - In Studies in the Way of Words. Harvard University Press. pp. 22-40.

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