Semantics and Pragmatics 10 (4):1-57 (2017)

Authors
Malte Willer
University of Chicago
Abstract
Folklore has it that Sobel sequences favor a variably strict analysis of conditionals over its plainly strict alternative. While recent discussions for or against the lore have focussed on Sobel sequences involving counterfactuals, this paper draws attention to the fact that indicative Sobel sequences are just as felicitous as are their counterfactual cousins. The fact, or so I shall argue here, disrupts the folklore: given minimal assumptions about the semantics and pragmatics of indicative conditionals, a textbook variably strict analysis fails to predict that indicative Sobel sequences are felicitous. The correct lesson to draw from Sobel sequences is that their felicity challenges classical implementations of the variably strict and of the plainly strict analysis alike. In response to this challenge I develop a dynamic strict analysis of conditionals that handles indicative Sobel sequences with grace while preserving intuitive constraints on the semantics and pragmatics of their members. A discussion of how such an analysis may handle the challenge from reverse Sobel sequences is provided.
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References found in this work BETA

Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1973 - Blackwell.
Vagueness, Truth and Logic.Kit Fine - 1975 - Synthese 30 (3-4):265-300.
Epistemic Modals.Seth Yalcin - 2007 - Mind 116 (464):983-1026.

View all 53 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Abominable KK Failures.Kevin Dorst - 2019 - Mind 128 (512):1227-1259.
Indicative Conditionals and Graded Information.Ivano Ciardelli - 2020 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 49 (3):509-549.
Varieties of Sobel sequences.Michela Ippolito - 2020 - Linguistics and Philosophy 43 (6):633-671.
Counterfactuals and Modality.Gabriel Greenberg - 2021 - Linguistics and Philosophy 1:1-26.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

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