On the Pragmatics of Counterfactuals

Noûs 46 (3):561-586 (2012)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Recently, von Fintel (2001) and Gillies (2007) have argued that certain sequences of counterfactuals, namely reverse Sobel sequences, should motivate us to abandon standard truth conditional theories of counterfactuals for dynamic semantic theories. I argue that we can give a pragmatic account of our judgments about counterfactuals without giving up the standard semantics. In particular, I introduce a pragmatic principle governing assertability, and I use this principle to explain a variety of subtle data concerning reverse Sobel sequences.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,213

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Counterfactual Scorekeeping.Anthony S. Gillies - 2007 - Linguistics and Philosophy 30 (3):329 - 360.
Conversation and Conditionals.J. Robert G. Williams - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 138 (2):211 - 223.
Would‐Cause Semantics.Phil Dowe - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (5):701-711.
A Dilemma for the Counterfactual Analysis of Causation.S. Barker - 2003 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (1):62 – 77.
Chance and Counterfactuals.John Hawthorne - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (2):396–405.
Counterfactuals, Correlatives, and Disjunction.Luis Alonso-Ovalle - 2009 - Linguistics and Philosophy 32 (2):207-244.
The Myth of the Categorical Counterfactual.David Barnett - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 144 (2):281 - 296.

Analytics

Added to PP
2010-09-10

Downloads
331 (#33,820)

6 months
21 (#48,250)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Sarah Moss
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Citations of this work

Abominable KK Failures.Kevin Dorst - 2019 - Mind 128 (512):1227-1259.
A Uniform Theory of Conditionals.William B. Starr - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (6):1019-1064.
A New Hope.Kyle Blumberg & John Hawthorne - 2022 - Journal of Philosophy 119 (1):5-32.

View all 57 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1973 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Blackwell.
Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and Other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
Studies in the Way of Words.Herbert Paul Grice - 1989 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

View all 99 references / Add more references