Subjunctive biscuit and stand-off conditionals

Philosophical Studies 163 (3):637-648 (2013)
Authors
Eric Swanson
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Abstract
Conventional wisdom has it that many intriguing features of indicative conditionals aren’t shared by subjunctive conditionals. Subjunctive morphology is common in discussions of wishes and wants, however, and conditionals are commonly used in such discussions as well. As a result such discussions are a good place to look for subjunctive conditionals that exhibit features usually associated with indicatives alone. Here I offer subjunctive versions of J. L. Austin’s ‘biscuit’ conditionals—e.g., “There are biscuits on the sideboard if you want them”—and subjunctive versions of Allan Gibbard’s ‘stand-off’ or ‘Sly Pete’ conditionals, in which speakers with no relevant false beliefs can in the same context felicitously assert conditionals with the same antecedents and contradictory consequents. My cases undercut views according to which the indicative/subjunctive divide marks a great difference in the meaning of conditionals. They also make trouble for treatments of indicative conditionals that cannot readily be generalized to subjunctives
Keywords Conditionals  Subjunctive conditionals  Counterfactuals  Biscuit conditionals  Stand-off conditionals
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9836-9
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References found in this work BETA

On Conditionals.Dorothy Edgington - 1995 - Mind 104 (414):235-329.
Philosophical Papers.J. L. Austin - 1961 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Biscuit Conditionals and Prohibited ‘Then’.Julia Zakkou - 2017 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 6 (2):84-92.
Reliability in Pragmatics.Eric McCready - 2014 - Oxford University Press.

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