Indicative conditionals

Erkenntnis 56 (3):345-378 (2002)

Authors
Richard Bradley
London School of Economics
Abstract
Adams Thesis has much evidence in its favour, but David Lewis famously showed that it cannot be true, in all but the most trivial of cases, if conditionals are proprositions and their probabilities are classical probabilities of truth. In this paper I show thatsimilar results can be constructed for a much wider class of conditionals. The fact that these results presuppose that the logic of conditionals is Boolean motivates a search for a non-Boolean alternative. It is argued that the exact proposition expressed by a conditional depends on the context in which it is uttered. Consequentlyits probability of truth will depend not only on the probabilities of the various propositions it might express, but also on the probabilities of the contexts determining which proposition it does in fact express.The semantic theory developed from this is then shown to explain why agents degrees of belief satisfyAdams Thesis. Finally the theory is compared with proposals for a three-valued logic of conditionals.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Ethics   Logic   Ontology
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1016331903927
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