Graduate studies at Western
|Abstract||Two major themes in the literature on indicative conditionals are (1) that the content of indicative conditionals typically depends on what is known;1 (2) that conditionals are intimately related to conditional probabilities.2 In possible world semantics for counterfactual conditionals, a standard assumption is that conditionals whose antecedents are metaphysically impossible are vacuously true.3 This aspect has recently been brought to the fore, and defended by Tim Williamson, who uses it in to characterize alethic necessity by exploiting such equivalences as: A⇔¬A A. One might wish to postulate an analogous connection for indicative conditionals, with indicatives whose antecedents are (in some relevant sense) epistemically impossible being vacuously true: and indeed, the modal account of indicative conditionals of Brian Weatherson has exactly this feature.4 This allows one to characterize an epistemic modal by the equivalence A⇔¬A→A. For simplicity, in what follows we write A as KA and think of it as expressing that subject S knows that A.5 The connection to probability has received much attention. Stalnaker (1970) suggested, as a way of articulating the ‘Ramsey Test’, the following very general schema for indicative conditionals relative to some probability function P: P(A→B) = P(B|A) 1For example, Nolan (2003); Weatherson (2001); Gillies (2007). 2For example Stalnaker (1970); McGee (1989); Adams (1975). 3Lewis (1973). See Nolan (1997) for criticism. 4‘epistemically possible’ here means incompatible with what is known (where ‘what is known’ is to be cashed out in some relevant sense). 5This idea was suggested to me in conversation by John Hawthorne. I do not know of it being explored in print. The plausibility of this characterization will depend on the exact sense of ‘epistemically possible’ in play—if it is compatibility with what a single subject knows, then can be read ‘the relevant subject knows that p’. If it is more delicately formulated, we might be able to read as the epistemic modal ‘must’..|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Only published papers are available at libraries|
Similar books and articles
Daniel Rothschild (2013). Do Indicative Conditionals Express Propositions? Noûs 47 (1):49-68.
Brian Weatherson (2001). Indicative and Subjunctive Conditionals. Philosophical Quarterly 51 (203):200-216.
Igor Douven & Sara Verbrugge (2013). The Probabilities of Conditionals Revisited. Cognitive Science 37 (4):711-730.
Eric Swanson (2013). Subjunctive Biscuit and Stand-Off Conditionals. Philosophical Studies 163 (3):637-648.
Brian Weatherson (2001). Indicatives and Subjunctives. Philosophical Quarterly 51:200--216.
Daniel Nolan (2003). Defending a Possible-Worlds Account of Indicative Conditionals. Philosophical Studies 116 (3):215-269.
Frank Jackson (ed.) (1991). Conditionals. Oxford University Press.
Moritz Schulz (2010). Wondering What Might Be. Philosophical Studies 149 (3):367 - 386.
David E. Over & Jonathan St B. T. Evans (2003). The Probability of Conditionals: The Psychological Evidence. Mind and Language 18 (4):340–358.
Peter Milne (2012). Indicative Conditionals, Conditional Probabilities, and the “Defective Truth-Table”: A Request for More Experiments. Thinking and Reasoning 18 (2):196 - 224.
Alan Hájek (2012). The Fall of “Adams' Thesis”? Journal of Logic, Language and Information 21 (2):145-161.
J. Robert G. Williams (2008). Conversation and Conditionals. Philosophical Studies 138 (2):211 - 223.
Added to index2010-12-22
Total downloads20 ( #68,271 of 739,303 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #26,222 of 739,303 )
How can I increase my downloads?