A Counterexample to Modus Ponenses

Journal of Philosophy 117 (6):315-331 (2020)
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Abstract

McGee argued that modus ponens was invalid for the natural language conditional ‘If…then…’. Many subsequent responses have argued that, while McGee’s examples show that modus ponens fails to preserve truth, they do not show that modus ponens fails to preserve rational full acceptance, and thus modus ponens may still be valid in the latter informational sense. I show that when we turn our attention from indicative conditionals to subjunctive conditionals, we find that modus ponens does not preserve either truth or rational full acceptance, and thus is not valid in either sense. In concluding I briefly consider how we can account for these facts.

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Matthew Mandelkern
New York University

Citations of this work

.Luca Incurvati & Julian J. Schlöder - 2023 - New York: Oxford University Press USA.
A Suppositional Theory of Conditionals.Sam Carter - 2021 - Mind 130 (520):1059–1086.
Dutch Book against Lewis.Anna Wójtowicz & Krzysztof Wójtowicz - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):9185-9217.

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References found in this work

A Theory of Conditionals.Robert Stalnaker - 1968 - In Nicholas Rescher (ed.), Studies in Logical Theory. Oxford,: Blackwell. pp. 98-112.
Epistemic Modals.Seth Yalcin - 2007 - Mind 116 (464):983-1026.
Defaults in update semantics.Frank Veltman - 1996 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 25 (3):221 - 261.
Indicative conditionals.Robert Stalnaker - 1975 - Philosophia 5 (3):269-286.
A counterexample to modus ponens.Vann McGee - 1985 - Journal of Philosophy 82 (9):462-471.

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