Operators or restrictors? A reply to Gillies

Semantics and Pragmatics 4:1-25 (2011)
According to operator theories, "if" denotes a two-place operator. According to restrictor theories, "if" doesn't contribute an operator of its own but instead merely restricts the domain of some co-occurring quantifier. The standard arguments (Lewis 1975, Kratzer 1986) for restrictor theories have it that operator theories (but not restrictor theories) struggle to predict the truth conditions of quantified conditionals like (1) a. If John didn't work at home, he usually worked in his office. b. If John didn't work at home, he must have worked in his office. Gillies (2010) offers a context-shifty conditional operator theory that predicts the right truth conditions for epistemically modalized conditionals like (1b), thus undercutting one standard argument for restrictor theories. I explore how we might generalize Gillies' theory to adverbially quantified conditionals like (1a) and deontic conditionals, and argue that a natural generalization of Gillies' theory -- following his strategy for handling epistemically modalized conditionals -- won't work for these other conditionals because a crucial assumption that epistemic modal bases are closed (used to neutralize the epistemic quantification contributed by "if") doesn't have plausible analogs in these other domains.
Keywords philosophy of language  conditionals  modals  semantics  adverbs of quantification
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,357
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA
    Similar books and articles

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    6 ( #162,855 of 1,088,781 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,666 of 1,088,781 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.