Philosophical Studies 175 (1):45-69 (2018)

Brian Leahy
Harvard University
Why do utterances of counterfactual conditionals typically, but not universally, convey the message that their antecedents are false? I demonstrate that two common theoretical commitments–commitment to the existence of scalar implicature and of informative presupposition—can be supplemented with an independently motivated theory of the presuppositions of competing conditional alternatives to jointly predict this information when and only when it appears. The view works best if indicative and counterfactual conditionals have a closely related semantics, so I conclude by undermining two familiar arguments for a nonunified semantics of indicative and counterfactual conditionals.
Keywords Conditionals  Counterfactual antecedent falsity  Presuppositional implicature  Adams  Oswald-Kennedy example  Gibbard  Riverboat example
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-017-0855-z
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References found in this work BETA

On Referring.P. F. Strawson - 1950 - Mind 59 (235):320-344.
Indicative Conditionals.Robert Stalnaker - 1975 - Philosophia 5 (3):269-286.
A Uniform Theory of Conditionals.William B. Starr - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (6):1019-1064.
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What is Presupposition Accommodation, Again?Kai von Fintel - 2008 - Philosophical Perspectives 22 (1):137--170.

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Citations of this work BETA

Counterfactuality and past.Kilu von Prince - 2019 - Linguistics and Philosophy 42 (6):577-615.

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