Conditionals and Actuality

Erkenntnis 70 (2):135 - 150 (2009)
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Abstract

It is known that indicative and subjunctive conditionals interact differently with a rigidifying "actually" operator. The paper studies this difference in an abstract setting. It does not assume the framework of possible world semantics, characterizing "actually" instead by the type of logically valid formulas to which it gives rise. It is proved that in a language with such features all sentential contexts that are congruential (in the sense that they preserve logical equivalence) are extensional (in the sense that they preserve material equivalence). For a subjunctive conditional, the natural conclusion to draw is that it is non-congruential. It is much harder to defend the claim that an indicative conditional is non-congruential. The pressure to treat the indicative conditional as truth-functional is correspondingly greater. The implications of these results for attempts to interpret the indicative conditional as an epistemic or doxastic operator are assessed

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Timothy Williamson
University of Oxford

Citations of this work

Subjunctivity and cross-world predication.Kai F. Wehmeier - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 159 (1):107-122.
Quantifying over Possibilities.John Mackay - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (4):577-617.
Replacement in Logic.Lloyd Humberstone - 2013 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 42 (1):49-89.
On What Actually Is.Fredrik Haraldsen - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (3):643-656.

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References found in this work

The Philosophy of Philosophy.Timothy Williamson - 2007 - Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Indicative conditionals.Robert Stalnaker - 1975 - Philosophia 5 (3):269-286.
Conditionals.Frank Jackson (ed.) - 1991 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Two notions of necessity.Martin Davies & Lloyd Humberstone - 1980 - Philosophical Studies 38 (1):1-31.

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