Presuppositions and Antipresuppositions in Conditionals

Abstract Utterances of counterfactual conditionals are typically attended by the information that their antecedents are false. But there is as yet no account of the source of this information that is both detailed and complete. This paper describes the problem of counterfactual antecedent falsity and argues that the problem can be addressed by appeal to an adequate account of the presuppositions of various competing conditional constructions. It argues that indicative conditionals presuppose that their antecedents are epistemically possible, while subjunctive conditionals bear no presupposition. Given this arrangement, utterance of the counterfactual results in an antipresupposition, that is, a scalar implicature generated from the presuppositions of competing alternatives rather than from the at-issue content of competing alternatives. The content of the antipresupposition is the negation of the presupposition of the competing indicative, i.e., that the antecedent of the conditional is known to be false by the speaker.
Keywords Conditionals  Counterfactuals  Indicative conditionals  Counterfactual antecedent falsity  Presuppositions  Antipresuppositions
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
Download options
PhilPapers Archive Brian Leahy, Presuppositions and Antipresuppositions in Conditionals
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
William B. Starr (2014). A Uniform Theory of Conditionals. Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (6):1019-1064.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Diane Barense (1988). On the Tense Structure of Conditionals. Philosophy Research Archives 14:539-566.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

34 ( #94,201 of 1,725,413 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #211,008 of 1,725,413 )

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.